SB 168 (Wieckowski) - Minimum Recycled Content Standard

Summary: SB 168 would require all PET plastic beverage containers (plastic resin #1) made or sold in California to contain a minimum of 20% of post consumer recycled material. Of the 12 billion plastic beverage containers sold in California every year, 97% of them are made of PET. 

Additionally, SB 168 would authorize CalRecycle to establish minimum recycled content standards for beverage containers made with plastic resins #2-#7 after evaluating market conditions, supply, technology advancements, and environmental considerations. CalRecycle may adjust the minimum content requirements for all plastic containers as needed, but not more than once annually. Lastly, the bill would also require the department to analyze Bottle Bills in other states and countries and report to the Legislature on opportunities for overall Program improvements.

Position and Status: CAW is supporting this bill. This bill is no longer active.

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  • Previous version of the bill was introduced, passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Committee. 
  • Previous language removed and amended to be SB 168 in it's current form January 18, 2018.
  • Passed the Senate floor January 29th, 2018.
  • Passed Assembly Natural Resources on June 25, 2018. Watch the hearing and CAW's testimony at 8:05.
  • Passed Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 17, 2018 with amendments to narrow the bill to only plastic beverage containers. 
  • Amendments to require 20% minimum recycled content for PET beverage containers are actively going into print (as of 8.23)
  • Passed Assembly Natural Resources Committee (re-referral) on August 28, 2018.
  • Failed Assembly Floor vote on August 31, 2018- Died

Description: SB 168 is authored by Senator Wieckowski (D-Fremont). PET recycling in California is facing incredible challenges, especially when it comes to making recycled PET commodities that have to compete in a marketplace with virgin PET. This challenge has been exacerbated by the recent implementation of the National Sword, China's policy which bans the import of 24 types of solid waste material and sets strict limitations on allowable contamination of recyclable plastics. Drastic drops in oil prices have had the effect of undermining the demand and price for California-generated recycled materials—California recycled material processors and recycled product makers are starting to lose market share to out of state/country ‘virgin’ producers. This bill would require the state to establish minimum recycled content standards for beverage containers made from all material types, which compliments other minimum content laws that the state has already adopted. 

CAW Staff Contact: Mark Murray, (916) 443-5422

Contact Senator Wieckowski's office

Current language, analysis, and votes