Energy + Environment, Legislation + Regulation, Products + Technology

California Law Tackles Plastic Packaging, Impacts Manufacturers

 

On June 30, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 54 into law to address the impacts of single-use packaging and plastic food service ware. This law requires that by 2032, single use plastics (packaging & food ware) in CA be reduced by 25%, 65% be recycled, and 100% be recyclable or compostable.

The law shifts the plastic pollution burden from consumers to the industries that produce and use them. Manufacturers that utilize single use plastic packaging in shipping to CA will be impacted, including lighting manufacturers. One example of concern to the lighting industry is polystyrene, commonly used to protect glass and other fragile lighting components.

SB 54 establishes a new extended producer responsibility (EPR) program to manage packaging and single-use plastic foodware products across every sector of the economy. Producers will ensure that the packaging and plastic food ware sold in California Is recyclable or compostable. The EPR program will be overseen by CalRecycle. Here is the law’s implementation timeline:

  • 2024: Hold informal rulemaking workshops & engage with stakeholders. Publish list of recyclable and compostable materials in CA.
  • 2025: Establish baseline for plastic materials for source reduction. Report to legislature. Promulgate regulations by January 1, 2025. Material characterization study published.
  • 2026: Review and approve producer responsibility organization (PRO) plans. Publish covered material recycling rates. CalRecycle and advisory board consider recycling rate adjustment.
  • 2027: Report to legislature.
  • 2028: Publish materials characterization study. Publish covered material recycling rates. CalRecycle and advisory board consider recycling rate adjustment.
  • 2029: Report to legislature.
  • 2030: Publish materials characterization study. Publish covered material recycling rates. CalRecycle and advisory board consider recycling rate adjustment.
  • 2031: Report to legislature. Review and approve PRO plans.
  • 2032: Material characterization studies published. CalRecycle and advisory board consider recycling rate adjustment.
  • 2033: Report to legislature.

More information is available on the CalRecycle site here.

author avatar
David Shiller
David Shiller is the Publisher of LightNOW, and President of Lighting Solution Development, a North American consulting firm providing business development services to advanced lighting manufacturers. The ALA awarded David the Pillar of the Industry Award. David has co-chaired ALA’s Engineering Committee since 2010. David established MaxLite’s OEM component sales into a multi-million dollar division. He invented GU24 lamps while leading ENERGY STAR lighting programs for the US EPA. David has been published in leading lighting publications, including LD+A, enLIGHTenment Magazine, LEDs Magazine, and more.

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