The California Legislature did not approve Senate Bill 54 (SB 54) and Assembly Bill 1080 (AB 1080), legislation that would have set ambitious new recycling and waste reduction targets for packaging. The Legislature has recessed for the year and will reconvene on January 6, 2020, when both bills may be reconsidered. The American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents the nation’s leading plastics producers, changed its position from opposed to neutral after the bill was amended to address several concerns, including requiring that all single-use packaging, regardless of material type, meet specified recycling rates. Studies show that switching from plastics to alternatives can increase greenhouse gas emissions and have other environmental impacts. ACC released the following statement, which may be attributed to Tim Shestek:
“America’s plastic makers are taking important steps to significantly increase the amount of plastic packaging that we reuse, recycle and recover in the United States. We set a nationwide goal to repurpose all plastic packaging by 2040 and helped launch the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which will invest $1.5 billion over five years to help develop and invest in infrastructure where it’s needed most.
ACC and our members support the goals of SB 54/AB 1080 and appreciated the work of Senator Allen, Skinner and Assembly member Gonzalez in taking this first step to address California’s recycling and waste issues.
We urge the Legislature to continue working on this issue and address key issues such as the need for funding to expand and improve the state’s recycling infrastructure and updating the state’s solid waste laws to ensure that innovative chemical recycling technologies are part of the solution. Additionally, as these bills would have granted significant new authority to CalRecycle, it is imperative that the Legislature maintain appropriate oversight during any future rulemaking process. Any new fees, mandates or other requirements must be fair, reasonable, and promote cooperation among all stakeholders.
Success can only be achieved if all stakeholders, including local governments and the waste and recycling industry, share in the responsibility of meeting this legislation’s objectives. We look forward to continued discussions on this important public policy issue.”