Californian governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 343 – Truth in Labeling for Recyclable Materials – into law on October 5, 2021.
SB 343 prohibits any person from offering for sale, selling, distributing or importing into the state of California any product or packaging with recyclability claims unless they are accurate and truthful in practice. To meet the criteria for displaying the chasing arrows symbol, or other symbols/statements indicating recyclability, a product of packaging must meet statewide criteria for recyclability. It must also made from a material type and form that can routinely become feedstock for the production of a new product or packaging.
On or before January 1, 2024, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) must provide consumers with accurate information about whether a product and/or its packaging can be recycled by:
• Updating the regulations requiring disposal facility operators to submit information collection and recyclability of materials
• Conducting and publishing a characterization study of material types and forms that are collected, sorted, sold, or transferred by solid waste facilities and deemed appropriate by CalRecycle (updated every fives)
Following the publishing of the material characterization study, manufacturers will be given 18 months or until January 1, 2024, whichever is later, to ensure their products and packaging don’t carry any deceptive or misleading claims regarding recyclability.
Products/packaging must meet the following criteria (where applicable):
• Does not include any components, inks, adhesives, or labels that prevent the recyclability of the product or packaging
• Does not contain an intentionally added chemical identified pursuant to the regulations implementing subparagraph (4) of subdivision (g) of Section 42370.2
• Not made from plastic or fiber that contains perfluoroalkyl, polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS that meet either of the following criteria:
o Intentionally added to a product or packaging (includes chemicals and PFAS that are intentional breakdown products)
o Present at or above 100 ppm, as measured in total organic fluorine
Products/packaging are deemed recyclable if they can:
• Demonstrate a recycling rate of at least 75%, meaning that not less than 75% of the product or packaging sorted and aggregated in the state is reprocessed into new products or packaging
• Before January 1, 2030, a product or packaging not collected pursuant to a curbside collection program if at least 60% of the product or packaging is recovered and the material has sufficient commercial value to be marketed for recycling and be transported at the end of its useful life to a transfer, processing, or recycling facility to be sorted and aggregated into defined streams by material type and form. After January 1, 2030, the recovered percentage will increase to 75%
• Product or packaging is part of, and in compliance with, a program established on or after January 1, 2022, governing the recyclability or disposal of that product or packaging if the director determines that the product or packaging will not increase contamination of curbside recycling or deceive consumers
Exemptions to the regulation exist for a variety of products, including some beverage containers and rechargeable batteries, which are within the scope of other federal and state legislation.
To learn more about the requirements of SB 343 and the state criteria for recyclability, read SGS’s original SafeGuard 148/21.
SGS Consumer Product Services
SGS provides news about the development of regulations affecting consumer products as a complimentary service. With a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Learn more about SGS’s Consumer Product Services. [www.sgs.com/en/consumer-goods-retail]
SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full California, USA Prohibits Deceptive or Misleading Recyclability Claims SafeGuardS. [www.sgs.com/en/news/2021/11/safeguards-14821-california-usa-prohibits-deceptive-or-misleading-recyclability-claims]
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For further information contact:
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Michael S. Richardson
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