Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2379 Waste management: polyester microfiber.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Microfiber is a subcategory of microplastic that is shed from synthetic fabric when that fabric is washed.
(2) These small, nondegradable fibers that are less than 5 millimeters in length are a major category of plastic pollution in water, pose a serious threat to the environment, and have been found within fish and shellfish that are consumed by humans.
(3) Garments made from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, can shed up to 1,900 microfibers per wash.
(4) Polyester is the most widely used fiber in the textiles industry and accounts for about 50 percent of the total fiber market.
(5) Effluent from washing machines and wastewater treatment plants is a significant source of microfiber pollution that enters waterways and the ocean.
(b) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to do both of the following:
(1) Recognize the emerging threat that microfibers pose to the environment and water quality and provide information to the general public about the sources of microfiber pollution.
(2) Reduce the amount of microfiber that enters the environment and is subsequently consumed by wildlife.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 6.2 (commencing with Section 42375) is added to Part 3 of Division 30 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

CHAPTER  6.2. Microfiber Pollution Education and Reduction
42375.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Clothing” means an article of apparel intended to be worn by a person, not including hats or shoes.
(b) “Plastic microfiber” means a small synthetic particle that is fibrous in shape, less than 5 millimeters in length, and is released into water through the regular washing of textiles made from synthetic material.
42375.1.
 (a) New clothing made from fabric that is composed of more than 50 percent synthetic material, if a care label is required for that clothing pursuant to Part 423 (commencing with Section 423.1) of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, shall include on the care label, in addition to the care information and instructions required pursuant to that federal law, the following statement: “This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed.”
(b) New clothing made from fabric that is composed of more than 50 percent synthetic material shall bear a conspicuous label that is visible to the consumer at the point of sale, in the form of a sticker, hang tag, or any other label type, that includes one of the following statements, as applicable:
(1) For clothing for which dry cleaning is required: “This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed, which contributes to marine plastic pollution. Dry clean only.”
(2) For all clothing that does not meet the description in paragraph (1) or if including the statement in paragraph (1) would violate Part 423 (commencing with Section 423.1) of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations: “This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed, which contributes to marine plastic pollution.”
(c) A person shall not sell or offer for sale new clothing made from fabric that is composed of more than 50 percent synthetic material unless the clothing is labeled in accordance with this section.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2020.