Mike Rogge

Glass container exemption from toxics law

By Mike Rogge

Capitol Update, April 2, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Assembly Member Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) is the author of AB 1435, Hazardous Waste: Toxic Packaging.  This bill would exempt glass beverage containers from the California Toxics in Packaging Law. 

The Toxics in Packaging Law is intended to reduce lead and other heavy metals potentially in packaging from entering landfills.  The law requires packaging manufacturers to issue a certificate of compliance to its customer stating that the packaging contains less than 100 ppm of regulated metals.  Glass packaging generally does not contain heavy metals other than trace amounts unintentionally introduced due to recycled glass content.

The highly inert, stable and non-reactive nature of glass essentially prevents heavy metals from migrating out of the glass in other than trace or undetectable amounts.  The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized glass as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for food and beverage packaging. 

Without an exemption, the only feasible means to make glass containers 100 percent compliant with the Toxics in Packaging Law would be to forego the use of recycled material.  This would be at cross-purposes with three other public policies: recycled content policy, state recycling law, and greenhouse gas emission reduction law.

An exemption presents no threat at end-of-life disposal in landfill.  Multiple studies have shown that the regulated materials do not leach from glass in detectable amount.  CMTA will be supporting AB 1435.

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