Assembly Committee Approves Recycling Increase

2018.07.02 00:00:00

The bill would require minimum levels of recycled content in beverage containers.

By Bea Karnes, Patch Staff | | Updated

SACRAMENTO, CA – Sen. Bob Wieckowski's bill to direct the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to establish minimum levels of recycled content for use in the manufacture of all beverage containers by 2021 was approved this week by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

SB 168 is a bipartisan bill co-authored by Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) and supported by recycling businesses and environmental organizations.

"We will derive economic and environmental benefits if SB 168 is signed into law," said Sen. Wieckowski, chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. "The economic benefit is creating markets for recycled material right here in California. The overseas markets, particularly China, are now closed to many of our recycled material. This bill will also generate environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It will also require CalRecycle to provide a report on other Bottle Bill programs to enable us to see what has proven successful in other jurisdictions. In the wake of increased closures of recycling centers and decreased rates of recycling, such a study is clearly warranted."

Sen. Stone also highlighted the economic and environmental benefits of SB 168.

"California rightfully encourages recycling, and the minimum content requirement of SB 168 will help us reduce the waste that goes into our landfills," said Stone, the vice chair of the Senate's Environmental Quality Committee. "This bill is proof that the environment and the economy can both benefit by people working together to create incentives and opportunities for recycled materials."

Supporters of the bill include Californians Against Waste, Recology, rePlanet, Republic Services, Inc., and Tri-CED Community Recycling, among several others.

"By directing CalRecycle to establish minimum levels of recycled content for use in the manufacture of all beverage containers, including all plastic beverage containers, SB 168 will further reduce pollution, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create more jobs," said Richard Valle, founder and president of Tri-CED Community Recycling. "These new minimum content requirements will stimulate manufacturing in California just as previous content standards have for glass manufacturers in the state."

— Announcement from Sen. Bob Wieckowski's Office; Image via Shutterstock