A collection of white and blue water bottles

California Moves Forward on Ambitious Minimum Content Law

Date: 10 Sep 2020 | posted in: plastics, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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%.

To learn more, read these articles from Resource Recycling and from WasteDive. Follow further developments and analysis, see Californians Against Waste.

Photo Credit: “‘Water – Bottle’ by Стефан Симов” by Klearchos Kapoutsis is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and businesses recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy through new processing and manufacturing facilities. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.