Sacramento, California – After ongoing discussions between Californians for Recycling and the Environment (CRE) and members of the California State Legislature, CRE is disheartened by the latest amendments to SB 54, which sets infeasible industry targets to reduce plastic waste, neglects to make significant investments in domestic markets for recycled content, and would further harm the environment by not providing the means for compostable materials to be processed at industrial facilities.
“The amendments fall significantly short of a solution that would protect the environment, while ensuring California families aren’t on the hook for needless, state-induced price increases,” said Reed Galen, Executive Director for Californians and the Environment. “The targets set by this bill are simply infeasible, does nothing to encourage the use of recycled content to build up our domestic recycling market, and provides no long-term funding strategy to support a robust, effective recycling system.”
CRE has submitted proposed amendments to the authors of bill that set forth more reasonable waste reduction targets, while calling for significant domestic investments to create additional recycling capacity statewide. As noted in an analysis by the Department of Finance, California's recycling facilities have struggled to find markets for discarded plastics, which were previously exported to China, but are now deposited into landfills or stored in warehouses.
Without this vital infrastructure in place, much of the compostable material will simply end up in landfills, causing more harm to the environment.
“While we share the mutual goal of protecting the environment, the right thing to do would be to hit the pause button to ensure this landmark legislation will actually achieve what it sets out to accomplish,” added Galen.
CRE members are committed to environmental sustainability and recycling, and they work hard to stay at the forefront of sustainable product development. In engaging on SB 54 and AB 1080, CRE urges legislators to more precisely define the entities covered by the bill, provide alternative compliance mechanisms and support large-scale recycling infrastructure that extends beyond bottles and cans to cover a product’s journey from the recycling bin to processing to its next use.