AF&PA Statement on California Recycling Legislation (SB 54 and AB 1080)

American Forest & Paper Association Executive Director of Packaging Terry Webber issued the following statement regarding California recycling legislation (SB 54 and AB 1080) which failed to advance in the 2019 state legislative session:

“The American Forest & Paper Association is pleased SB 54 and AB 1080 will not advance out of California’s 2019 legislative session. While we agreed with the goals of the legislation to support recycling and reduce waste, it is not ready to become law. These bills would have created an unrealistic regulatory framework for an implementing agency already facing challenges fixing troubled recycling programs.

“The legislation was advertised to the public as a means to address the pressing problem of plastic waste. Paper, with a recovery rate of 68.1 percent in 2018, should not be regulated as if it were plastic, which has a much lower recovery rate. Furthermore, extended producer responsibility is a command and control approach more appropriate for addressing hard to handle or hazardous materials and should not be applied to products like paper that provide a sustainable and highly recycled packaging option.

“We look forward to working with legislators next year to get this legislation right.”

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