California Governor Newsom Vetoes Bill Establishing Recycled Content Standards for Plastic Thermoforms


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California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed AB 2784a bill that would have fixed recycled content standards for thermoformed food containers.

In a veto letter, Newsom said he supports efforts to reduce plastic pollution, but he argues the bill could interfere with SB 54, a bill he signed in June that is widely believed to be the law. on the most comprehensive extended producer responsibility for packaging in the United States. This law requires many reductions. and disposals in single-use plastic packaging and sets an additional mandatory recycling rate for most plastic packaging.

AB 2784 would have set recycled content standards for thermoforms ranging from 10% in 2025 to 30% in 2030 depending on the recycling rate of the material. According to the bill, lower recycling rates would have triggered higher requirements for use by PCR producers, and higher rates would have resulted in lower requirements. By 2030, the objective was to achieve a 75% recycling rate for thermoforms.

The bill would also have allowed CalRecycle to levy fines if a producer fails to meet minimum content requirements.

“I’m concerned that this bill will impose confusing requirements that conflict with some of the key provisions of SB 54, which could unfairly result in duplicate fees and penalties for the same material,” Newsom said in the letter.

Californians Against Waste, a leading supporter of the bill, said the veto was a “missed opportunity.” The recycled content requirements in the bill would have helped revive demand for PET sooner than the provisions of SB 54, which will take several years to implement, executive director Mark Murray said in an email. .

“While we support the goals of SB 54, the goals of this policy remain at 5 years and rely primarily on the voluntary efforts of the plastics industry,” he said.

The American Chemistry Council and PLASTICS applauded the veto, saying the bill would have duplicated requirements and created uncertainty for businesses. The Association of Plastics Recyclers said the bill would have complicated markets for PET thermoforming due to a current lack of supply, Plastics News reported.

The veto comes just days after Newsom signed several waste and recycling bills into law as part of a bundle of laws according to the state, it is its most aggressive action against climate change to date.

Newsom vetoed another recycled content bill in 2019, but it has since become law.

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