Legislature passes single-use packaging and plastic products bills

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, May 31, 2019

Despite significant concerns associated with SB 54 (Allen) and AB 1080 (Gonzalez) that led to us labeling both bills "Manufacturing Breakers" and the CalChamber labeling them "Job Killers", the Legislature approved both bills this week.

The bills are mirror images of one another and seek to establish a statewide policy goal that by 2030 manufacturers and retailers of single-use packaging and products achieve a 75% reduction in the amount of waste generated. Further, the bills provide broad authority to CalRecycle to adopt regulations requiring manufacturers and retailers to source reduce single use packaging; ensure all single use packaging is recyclable or compostable; reduce yet-to-be-determined priority “single-use plastic products” in the market; ensure all priority single-use plastic products are recyclable or compostable; and more. Such broad authority defers all decisions on the approach, application, relationship to other regulatory programs and more to CalRecycle to figure out, including the possible establishment of new deposit schemes, extended producer responsibility programs, fees and more.

The business community raised a number of concerns related to scope, unclear terminology and intent, broad authority being delegated to a state agency without legislative oversight, impractical timelines, duplication and overlap with existing regulatory programs, a lack of sufficient infrastructure, and more. As part of their floor speeches, both authors agreed to work with the business community and other stakeholders to address these concerns. More to come…
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