Assemblymember Irwin bill to Lead with First-in-the-Country Requirement for Recycled Content in Plastic CRV Bottles Moves on to Governor’s Desk

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – AB 793 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) was approved in the Senate and sent to the Governor’s desk last night. California has another opportunity to take the lead on environmental issues by enacting the country’s first law requiring manufacturers to include recycled materials when making plastic beverage bottles. The bill sets a phased-in timeline of when companies must meet minimum content standards, ultimately achieving 50% - the highest in the world - and surpassing the 30% mandate in the European Union (EU).

“Assemblymember Ting and I worked extensively with the industry stakeholders to ensure that this bill is both bold and workable. The result is the most aggressive recycled content mandate in the world for plastic bottles,” said Irwin.

The dwindling U.S. demand for recycled plastic has led, in part, to the tidal wave of recycling center closures in California, leaving consumers with fewer places to take their bottles and cans. Additionally, China and other overseas markets stopped buying much of California’s recycled waste. The result? Recyclable plastic is stacking up in warehouses, flooding our landfills, and polluting our environment. AB 793 creates a different path by bolstering the market for recycled plastic in the state, so reusable waste doesn’t contaminate the earth. If signed, manufacturers must meet the following deadlines:

Year

2022

2025

2030

Minimum Recycled Content

15%

25%

50%

 

Naked Juice has been using plastic bottles made with 100% post-consumer recycled content since 2010, proving the change can be done. Nestle Waters North America and Coca-Cola have also committed to using more recycled plastic over the next few years.

“The time has come for shared responsibility. Our environment suffers when companies keep making new plastic every time they need a drink container. They need to reuse what they’ve already made,” said Ting. “If we don’t make this shift, we will have more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.”

AB 793 is Irwin’s and Ting’s second attempt to ensure that plastic waste actually gets recycled. The Governor vetoed a similar bill last year because of cost concerns, which have been addressed this year.

As with all bills sent to the Governor this month by the August 31 deadline, he has until September 30 to act.

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