Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 30. WASTE MANAGEMENT [40000 - 49620]

  ( Division 30 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1096, Sec. 2. )

PART 3. STATE PROGRAMS [42000 - 42999]

  ( Part 3 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1096, Sec. 2. )

CHAPTER 5.5. Plastic Packaging Containers [42300 - 42345]

  ( Chapter 5.5 added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 769, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 1. Legislative Findings and Definitions [42300 - 42301]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 769, Sec. 1. )

42300.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Recycling rigid plastic packaging containers saves landfill space, reduces energy consumption, and preserves natural resources.

(b) The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 requires cities and counties to reduce the amount of waste disposed in landfills by 50 percent by the end of the decade through source reduction, recycling, and composting.

(c) Rigid plastic packaging containers represent a significant component of the solid waste generated in the state.

(d) In order for recycling in the state to be successful, it is critical that stable, in-state markets be developed for material separately collected from the waste stream and processed for recycling.

(e) As of the effective date of this chapter, curbside collection of recyclables is available to nearly 20 percent of the state’s residents. In order to expand the variety of materials collected in these programs, including all rigid plastic packaging containers, it is essential that stable markets exist for the plastic materials collected.

(f) The state has required several types of products to use increasing levels of postconsumer recycled material in their manufacture, including newsprint, glass containers, and plastic trash bags.

(g) Some of the nation’s largest consumer product manufacturers have announced plans to require, or are currently requiring, their plastic packaging suppliers to provide them with containers comprised of increasing levels of postconsumer recycled materials, demonstrating that the technology is already available to use recycled material to make new plastic packaging containers. However, many businesses continue to purchase packaging materials made from 100 percent virgin plastic and to sell them in the state.

(h) The food and consumer products industries are manufacturing safe products and packaging using plastic materials, some of which use less raw material than other packaging materials through source reduction and the reuse and recycling of used plastic materials.

(i) The Legislature recognizes that the need to reduce the amount of solid waste generated by food products must be balanced with the need to package those products so that they are resistant to tampering, damage, and spoilage.

(j) It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature to spur markets for plastic materials collected for recycling by requiring manufacturers to utilize increasing amounts of postconsumer recycled material in their rigid plastic packaging containers only if the use of that material does not present an unreasonable risk to the public health and safety, and to achieve high recycling rates for these rigid plastic packaging containers.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1076, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

42301.
  

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Container manufacturer” means a company or a successor company that sells any rigid plastic packaging container subject to this chapter to a manufacturer that sells or offers for sale in this state any product packaged in that container.

(b) “Curbside collection program” means a recycling program that collects materials set out by households for collection at the curb at intervals not less than every two weeks. “Curbside collection program” does not include redemption centers, buyback locations, drop-off programs, material recovery facilities, or plastic recovery facilities.

(c) “Refillable package” means a rigid plastic packaging container that the board determines is routinely returned to and refilled by the product manufacturer at least five times with the original product contained by the package.

(d) “Reusable package” means a rigid plastic packaging container that the board determines is routinely reused by consumers at least five times to store the original product contained by the package.

(e) “Manufacturer” means the producer or generator of a product that is sold or offered for sale in the state and that is stored inside of a rigid plastic packaging container.

(f) “Rigid plastic packaging container” means any plastic package having a relatively inflexible finite shape or form, with a minimum capacity of eight fluid ounces or its equivalent volume and a maximum capacity of five fluid gallons or its equivalent volume, that is capable of maintaining its shape while holding other products, including, but not limited to, bottles, cartons, and other receptacles, for sale or distribution in the state.

(g) “Postconsumer material” means a material that would otherwise be destined for solid waste disposal, having completed its intended end use and product lifecycle. Postconsumer material does not include materials and byproducts generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing and fabrication process.

(h) “Recycled” means a product or material that has been reused in the production of another product and has been diverted from disposal in a landfill.

(i) “Recycling rate” means the proportion, as measured by weight, volume, or number, of a rigid plastic packaging container sold or offered for sale in the state that is being recycled in a given calendar year, that is one of the following:

(1) A particular type of rigid plastic packaging container, such as a milk jug, soft drink container, or detergent bottle.

(2) A product-associated rigid plastic packaging container.

(3) A single resin type, as specified in Section 18015, of rigid plastic packaging container, notwithstanding the exemption of that container from this chapter pursuant to subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 42340.

(j) (1) “Source reduced container” means either of the following:

(A) A rigid plastic packaging container for which the manufacturer seeks compliance as of January 1, 1995, whose package weight per unit or use of product has been reduced by 10 percent when compared with the packaging used for that product by the manufacturer from January 1, 1990, to December 31, 1994.

(B) A rigid plastic container for which the manufacturer seeks compliance after January 1, 1995, whose package weight per unit or use of product has been reduced by 10 percent when compared with one of the following:

(i) The packaging used for the product by the manufacturer on January 1, 1995.

(ii) The packaging used for that product by the manufacturer over the course of the first full year of commerce in this state.

(iii) The packaging used in commerce that same year for similar products whose containers have not been considered source reduced.

(2) A rigid plastic packaging container is not a source reduced container for the purposes of this chapter if the packaging reduction was achieved by any of the following:

(A) Substituting a different material type for a material that previously constituted the principal material of the container.

(B) Increasing a container’s weight per unit or use of product after January 1, 1991.

(C) Packaging changes that adversely affect the potential for the rigid plastic packaging container to be recycled or to be made of postconsumer material.

(k) “Product-associated rigid plastic packaging container” means a brand-specific, rigid plastic packaging line that may have one or more sizes, shapes, or designs and that is used in conjunction with a particular generic product line.

(l) “PETE” means polyethylene terephthalate as specified in subdivision (a) of Section 18015.

(m) “HDPE” means high-density polyethylene.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 666, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2006.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC1