California Governor Signs Recycling, Plastics and PFAS Legislation

FTC Considers Enforcement Related to “Made in the USA” Label Statements

On Oct. 5, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a slew of bills into law aimed at tightening environmental protections in the state. In September, Gov. Newson announced the California Comeback Plan’s $15 billion climate package – the largest such investment in state history – which includes $270 million with the stated goal to support a circular economy that advances sustainability and helps reduce short-lived climate pollutants from the waste sector.

That package includes funding to support the work of CalRecycle’s new Office of Innovation in Recycling and Remanufacturing, with the intention to raise demand for recyclables and attract green industry to California. The governor’s office said that additional funds will support organic waste infrastructure, food recovery efforts and composting, remanufacturing, and recycling infrastructure, including investments in disadvantaged communities.

New Laws

Among the legislative package of enacted laws, the governor signed SB 343, which requires products to meet benchmarks in order to be advertised or labeled as recyclable, helping consumers to clearly identify which products are recyclable in California. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), is aimed at curbing the use of misleading recycling labels.

The governor also signed two bills related to Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS have been the focus of many chemical management bills across the country as concerns mount that they don’t break down in the environment and could possibly present environmental and health hazards.

AB 652, sponsored by Assemb. Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) bans the use of PFAS in products for children, such as car seats and cribs, beginning July 1, 2023. The state earlier this year required manufacturers of carpets and rugs to consider less toxic alternatives to PFASs, which pose a particular exposure risk to children when used in carpets and rugs.

AB 1200, sponsored by Assemb. Philip Ting (D-San Francisco), prohibits disposable food packaging from containing intentionally added PFAS and requires cookware manufacturers to disclose the presence of hazardous chemicals such as PFAS on product labels and online.

AB 881, sponsored by Assemb. Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), discourages practices resulting in exporting plastic that becomes waste and ensures that only exports of truly recycled plastics count toward state waste reduction and recycling metrics.

SB 619, sponsored by Sen. John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), provides local governments additional paths to meet the climate goals of California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant law.

Also, the governor signed the following California bills related to food/beverage and their containers:

  • AB 962 by Senator Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles) – California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act: reusable beverage containers;
  • AB 1201 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Solid waste: products: labeling: compostability and biodegradability;
  • AB 1276 by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) – Single-use foodware accessories and standard condiments; and
  • AB 1311 by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) – Recycling: beverage containers; and

For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.

 

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