Packaging Bill Proponents File Ballot Initiative: ‘California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act of 2020’

Nov. 14, 2019 – -On Nov. 4, 2019 a measure was filed known as the  “California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act of 2020.” According to the proponents, “qualifying the initiative for the ballot is intended in part to get state lawmakers to do something in 2020 that they could not this year – pass a major bill designed to cut plastic pollution.” Below are the details of the filed ballot initiative, an outline of the process to qualify the initiative, as well as a summary of the initiative. The Almond Alliance was active in opposing this bill given the impacts to the California almond industry. Below is a summary of the measure:

– All product packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2030.

– Grants CalRecycle broad regulatory authority to:

  • Define the terms reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
  • Require source reduction to the maximum extent possible.
  • Establish recycled content mandates.
  • Eliminate the use of single use plastic products where alternatives exist.
  • Establish labeling and marketing requirements.

Prohibit the distribution of an expanded polystyrene food service container by a food vendor.

– CalRecycle shall also develop their regulations to ensure that waste is reduced from a 2020 baseline at the following rates/dates:

  • 20% by 2023
  • 40% by 2025
  • 80% by 2030

– Limited offramps for products or packages that CalRecycle determines cannot comply for health and safety reasons.
– CalRecycle shall establish by January 1, 2022, and a producer shall pay, a California Plastic Pollution Reduction Fee, not exceed ($0.01) per plastic product or component of packaging and used for the following:

Reducing the costs to local governments and ratepayers.

  • Reducing the cost to the state to achieve its recycling and composting goals.
  • Develop infrastructure.
  • Reducing organics.
  • Fund non-profits and education organizations.
  • At least 30% is dedicated to the Department of Fish and Game, the Wildlife Conservation Board, the Coastal Conservancy, the Ocean Protection Council, and the California State Parks to restore, recover, and protect ecosystems.
  • CalRecycle shall not expend more than 5% of the revenue from the California Plastic Pollution Reduction Fee on administrative costs.
  • The fee cannot be visible to the consumer on a receipt or invoice.

To view the details of the filing and measure, Click Here.