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New Packaging Regulation

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed SB 1383, establishing targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in disposed organic waste by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. CalRecycle has been tasked with developing a plan that focuses on areas and strategies to help achieve these goals.

At first step, CalRecycle is targeting “priority packaging” to reduce the amount of paper packaging (uncoated corrugated cardboard, waxed cardboard, aseptic containers and cartons) and plastic packaging (film plastic, expanded polystyreme, pouches) in the waste stream. The agency has identified a variety of “tools,” mandated programs, such as extended producer responsibility, pay-as-you-throw, increased landfill tipping fees, source reduction, minimum recycled content and labeling requirements, to help accomplish its goal.

We have participated in the public workshops, provided written comments, and met with staff individually to voice our concerns and recommendations on which of the proposed programs CalRecycle should adopt. We have argued for strengthening the current waste collection infrastructure and an expanded visible, ongoing public education program at the state and local level to encourage recycling of “priority packaging.” CalRecycles plans to reveal formal recommendation in early 2018.

Recommendation: This program will affect all members, whether they are producing printing, bindery, fulfillment or any other activity that uses the targeted paper and plastic products. To follow the issue more closely, members should join CalRecycle’s listserve at www.calrecycle.ca.gov/listservs

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