SB 168 (Wieckowski) - Minimum Recycled Content Standard

Summary: SB 168 will require CalRecycle to establish minimum recycled content standards for beverage containers. The bill also requires the department to develop a report on the establishment of an extended producer responsibility program as a replacement to the current California beverage container recycling program.

Position and Status: CAW is supporting this bill.

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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. Now in the Assembly.
  • Next Step: Be referred to a policy committee in the Assembly.

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. The bill also requires CalRecycle to develop a report to the state legislature that would explore the implications of replacing the current California beverage container recycling program with an extended producer responsibility program.

CAW Staff Contact: Kelly McBee, (916) 443-5422

Contact Senator Wieckowski's office

Current language, analysis, and votes