California is expanding its bottle bill to put a deposit of up to 10 cents on most wine and distilled spirits containers, along with a 25-cent refundable fee on difficult to recycle, newer types of packaging like cardboard wine boxes with plastic pouches.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 27 signed legislation that will bring the containers into the state's 35-year-old bottle bill starting Jan. 1, 2024.
Advocates for the expansion said less than 30 percent of wine and spirits containers in the state are recycled, compared with 70 percent of beverage containers currently covered by the current system, which includes beer, soft drink and water containers.
"Based on the track record of this program, we know with confidence that this measure will result in more than 250,000 additional tons of glass and plastic being returned for recycling back into new containers," said Mark Murray, executive director of the environmental group Californians Against Waste. "The producer responsibility requirements and incentives in the California Bottle Bill have averaged 75 percent or better recycling levels for more than two decades."
Most wine and spirits containers will have 10-cent deposits, CAW said.
The law, which passed the state Assembly 78-0 and the state Senate 38-0, includes funding designed to increase the use of recycled glass, including payments of 1.2 cents per container to the state's four glass container makers, CAW said.
On the plastics side, the legislation gives "alternative" wine and spirits containers like plastic pouches two extra years to comply with recycled content requirements.
Within the broader bottle bill, the new law extends for three years, until July 1, 2025, a program that makes market development payments to plastics reclaimers and product makers.