SB 567 (DeSaulnier) - Truthful Environmental Advertising in Plastics
Position and Status.
UPDATE: Governor Brown signed SB 567!
It had previously passed out of both the Assembly and Senate.
Current law (PRC §42355-9; last amended in AB 1972 DeSaulnier 2008; originally adopted in SB 1749 Karnette 2004) applies to bags and food packaging and explicitly prohibits "biodegradable" and other inherently deceptive claims that are implicitly in violation of federal environmental advertising guidelines ("FTC Green Guides").
Current law ties testable and legitimate end-of-life claims to pass-or-fail tests called “ASTM standard specifications”, such as ASTM standard specification D6400 for “compostable”. This prevents consumer deception and guards against common abuse of lesser standards, such as manipulating ASTM test methods (which are not pass/fail tests) to make deceptive claims. “Biodegradable in a landfill” is also an inherently deceptive and unverifiable claim for which no ASTM standard specification exists because degradation in landfills is inhibited in most landfills by design in order to prevent the formation of the powerful greenhouse gas methane.
SB 567 expands the scope of current California law by prohibiting the labeling of plastic bags and food packaging as "biodegradable" from just bags and food packaging to all plastics products.
This bill is similar to SB 1454 (Desaulnier) Truthful Environmental Advertising in Plastics which was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger last year.
CAW Staff Contacts.
Scott Smithline (916) 443-5422
Senator Mark DeSaulnier
CAW Recycling News
Mark Murray's Blog