Innovative legislation in California requiring that all plastic bottles covered by the state’s container redemption program average at least 15% post-consumer resin (PCR) by 2022 has passed the legislature and awaits the Governor’s signature. According to the bill, the 15% minimum-content standard would then increase to 25% in 2025 and 50% in 2030. Widely hailed as the most ambitious minimum content law in the US, the bill also imposes fees of 20 cents for each pound that falls short of the set targets. The funds collected through these fees will go towards a dedicated account that will support infrastructure, collection and processing of plastic bottles.
Most beverage containers in California currently use no recycled plastic, but companies are striving to add more secondary materials to their packages. Coca-Cola and Danone Water of America were at 19% and 20% recycled content, respectively, and Nestlé Waters North America exceeded 36%.