CALIFORNIANS FOR RECYCLING AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Californians for Recycling and the Environment (CRE) represents product manufacturers whose goal is to bring together our members, Californians, and lawmakers to find an effective, environmentally responsible, consumer-focused solution to reduce the amount of waste that goes into our landfills and litters our environment.
CRE is committed to environmental sustainability and recycling. That’s the reason our members work hard to stay at the forefront of sustainable product development and why we are continually working to reduce our environmental footprint, including by minimizing waste and using renewable options. Together, we can find a solution that protects our environment, keeps Californians safe, and ensures that the products we’ve come to rely on remain available and affordable.
In particular, CRE seeks to support legislation that incorporates the following principles:
- Considers a product’s complete lifecycle – from manufacturing to purchase to recycling to reuse as recycled content. While product/packaging producers can and should share in the responsibility for the recovery of materials in their products, all segments and participants along a product/packaging value chain contribute to packaging waste and must play a role in its reduction. Producer definitions should be dynamic and recognize that responsibility for materials can transition or transfer during a product lifecycle and engage the entire value chain.
- Creates a system that invests in all three facets of the state’s recycling infrastructure system: collection, processing and use of recycled content. Generally, California has had robust collection capabilities, but existing weaknesses in the processing infrastructure needed to process collected materials and use of recycled content limits the effectiveness of the overall process. Over time, materials and volumes can change so a dynamic investment system to build capacity is needed.
- Encourages and incentivizes the use of recyclable and compostable materials, while also acknowledging that some non-recyclable or non-compostable products and packaging do play a role in reducing product waste and protecting consumer safety. That said, supporting increased demand for recycled content can help sustain and grow the recycling market.
- Quantifies California’s recycling goals and successes by material rather than by product. Once product/packaging enters the recycling system, they lose their brand identity and function and their material becomes a commodity. Since the existing recycling system categorizes waste by material types or commodity, any legislation should peg recycling benchmarks in the same way in order to more effectively track progress and manage infrastructure capabilities.
- Provides for corrective actions that further California’s recycling goals.The reuse of each commodity is subject to different market considerations. EPR regulation should evolve unique mandates, investments, incentives and corrective actions based on infrastructure performance that reflect those unique market considerations.