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

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Date Published: 04/26/2018 09:00 PM
AB2379:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 26, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2379


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Gonzalez Fletcher and Mark Stone)

February 14, 2018


An act to add Chapter 6.2 (commencing with Section 42375) to Part 3 of Division 30 of the Public Resources Code, relating to waste management.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2379, as amended, Bloom. Waste management: polyester plastic microfiber.
The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) prohibits any person, in the course of doing business, from knowingly and intentionally exposing any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without giving a specified warning, or from discharging or releasing such a chemical into any source of drinking water, except as specified. Existing law prohibits the sale of expanded polystyrene packaging material by a wholesaler or manufacturer unless that material is composed of 100% recycled material. Existing law prohibits a person from selling a plastic product in this state that is labeled with the term “compostable,” “home compostable,” or “marine degradable” unless, at the time of sale, the plastic product meets the applicable ASTM International standard specification. Existing law prohibits, on and after January 1, 2020, a person, business, or other entity from selling or offering for promotional purposes in this state a personal care product containing plastic microbeads, as specified.
This bill would require that new clothing made from fabric that is composed of more than 50% synthetic material 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, with specified information, including a statement that the garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed. The bill would require new clothing with that material composition, if a care label is required pursuant to federal law, to include additional information on the care label, including that same statement. The bill would prohibit a person from selling or offering for sale new clothing made from fabric that is composed of more than 50% synthetic material that does not bear those labels. The bill would require that these requirements be enforced only through a civil action brought by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney. The bill would make these provisions effective on January 1, 2020.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


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: statement: “This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed, which contributes to marine plastic pollution.

(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 be enforced only through a civil action brought by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney.
(e) A violation of subdivision (a), (b), or (c) shall not constitute unfair competition for purposes of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17200) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Business and Profession Code.

(d)

(f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2020.