IBWA News Splash
April 28, 2022
Vol. 23, No. 16
  IBWA Monitoring Latest Developments on Recycled Content Mandates in California, Washington, and Maine
IBWA continues to follow the latest developments for recycled content mandates in California, Washington, and Maine. In California, the state’s initial mandate of 15 percent postconsumer recycled plastic officially went into effect in January 2022 for all plastic beverage container manufacturers that are part of its bottle deposit program. Failure to meet these standards, which are measured in the aggregate, will trigger penalties that go into effect in 2023 and will be collected annually beginning March 1, 2024. CalRecycle also continues to work on implementing regulations, including their position that caps and labels will be included in the calculation of the required recycled content percentage, for plastic beverage containers that are part of the California Redemption Value (CRV).
 
CalRecycle is expected to finalize rules for the mandate by this fall. IBWA continues to discuss various details of the pending regulation, including the inclusion of caps and labels and the requirements for petitioning organizations with staff at CalRecycle. No specific timeline has been given for the release of an initial draft, but IBWA is prepared to comment on these rules once they are issued.
 
Washington
In Washington, the first meeting of an advisory committee created by the state Department of Ecology was held on April 14. This committee is tasked to address rulemaking for the state’s recycled content mandate for plastic containers. IBWA has been fortunate to have Environmental Sustainability Committee Co-Chair John Cook from Niagara Bottling serve as an industry representative on the committee. There are sub-meetings prior to the next full meeting of the committee to discuss definitions of "producer," "household cleaning products," and "personal care products." Anyone can participate in the advisory committee meetings, with the next one scheduled for June 9.
 
A registration deadline for plastic container producers required to comply with the mandate was extended to May 18. Producers that fail to register are subject to a civil penalty for each day of violation in an amount not to exceed $1,000. Producers will be assessed an annual fee that covers the annual costs the department expects to incur to implement, administer, and enforce the law, including the cost of rulemaking. The annual fee will be equitably divided among producers.
 
Please visit Plastic producer registration - Washington State Department of Ecology to register with the state if you have not already done so.
 
Maine
In Maine, final fiscal approval was given to legislation that passed last year regarding a recycled content mandate for plastic beverage containers. While the bill was approved by both chambers in 2021, it failed to garner appropriations support prior to the end of the session. For the 2022 session, the bill remained on the Special Appropriations Table until funding could be agreed upon. Funding was approved for the first year of the program, which starts in the next fiscal year.
 
Beginning January 1, 2026, a manufacturer of beverages in plastic beverage containers may not sell, offer for sale or distribute for sale a plastic beverage container in Maine unless the total number of plastic beverage containers sold on average and in the aggregate is composed of at least 25 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. That requirement increases to 30 percent beginning January 1, 2031.
 
By April 1, 2024, all manufacturers need to report recycled content and virgin plastic usage numbers in pounds from the previous calendar year to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). An annual registration fee not to exceed $250 will also need to be paid to the DEP.
 
Beginning January 1, 2026, the DEP may on its own initiative or at the petition of a beverage manufacturing industry association, initiate an annual review of the applicable post-consumer recycled plastic requirement. The DEP can determine whether that requirement should be reduced due to market conditions for post-consumer recycled plastic, including the demand for such plastic for food-grade application, a review of recycling rates, and progress made by manufacturers in complying with the post-consumer recycled plastic requirement.
 
The legislation also provides penalties for failure to comply with the mandate and a waiver process that can be requested by a manufacturer. The final bill also prohibits a local government from adopting an ordinance regulating the amount of post-consumer recycled plastic contained in plastic beverage containers.
 
If you have any questions, please contact IBWA Director of Government Relations J.P. Toner: 703.647.4616 or jtoner@bottledwater.org.


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In This Issue:
• IBWA Submits Comments Opposing Legislation Harmful to Bottled Water in Rhode Island and Los Angeles
• IBWA Monitoring Latest Developments on Recycled Content Mandates in California, Washington, and Maine
• Exemplary Leadership: Nominate Your Plant Leaders for IBWA's Plant Manager of the Year
• IBWA Informs the Public About the Importance of Investing in Recycling for Earth Day
• IBWA's May Social Media Toolkit Is Now Available
• Reminder: Second Payments for 2022 IBWA Membership Renewals Due, Any Outstanding Members Should Renew Now
• Register Now for the 14th Annual Hydration for Health Conference
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