Governor Releases Budget, Touch on Bottle Bill

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has just released his proposed 2017-18 state budget today, which includes directions for a CA Bottle Bill Program reform: 

Beverage Container Recycling Program Reform
Combatting climate change requires strategies to reduce the amount of landfilled waste and increase recycling for multiple types of materials. Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by lessening the need for natural resource extraction, saving energy in the manufacturing of new products and minimizing landfill emissions.

Over the past 30 years, the Beverage Container Recycling Program, which is  administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), has raised consumer awareness of the environmental impacts of littering and the benefits of recycling single use beverage containers. However, the program faces significant challenges, prompted by changes in consumer products and behavior, developments in recycling systems, and fluctuations in the global commodities market.

To maximize the environmental and economic benefits of recycling beverage containers, the program requires comprehensive reform that aligns with the state’s climate change goals, the state’s 75 percent waste diversion goal, and fiscal sustainability based on the following principles:

  • Improving Recycling and Remanufacturing—The program has been successful in its initial goal of reducing litter by providing recycling collection opportunities for consumers. However, collection does not ensure that a product is recycled into a new commodity. Future investments should be focused on creating clean, recyclable streams of material, which will improve the recycling and remanufacturing segments of the current system. 
  • Sharing Responsibility— Historically, the consumer has shouldered most of the financial burden to sustain the program. Program responsibilities and financing should be rebalanced among all program participants
  • Enhancing Adaptability and Sustainability— Increases in the recycling rate have resulted in a structural deficit in the Beverage Container Recycling Fund. In addition, the program does not respond quickly to fluctuations in the marketplace.

The program must be both nimble and fiscally sustainable. The Administration is committed to collaborating with stakeholders on a comprehensive reform package. To that end, CalRecycle proposes a policy framework that outlines key components of reform.

View CalRecycle's Policy Framework proposal to update the Bottle Bill Program.