SB 54/AB 1080 have passed the Senate/Assembly appropriations committee!!
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For Immediate Release
July 15, 2019
Jen Kwart, email@example.com, 415.557.3013
Bill to Help Reduce Landfill Waste at Festivals Signed by Governor
Law will allow reusable containers and food ware to be used at temporary events, concerts, fairs, and restaurants
Sacramento, CA—A bill authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to allow the use of reusable food ware at temporary food events like concerts or fairs was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on July 12. Assembly Bill 619 will also clarify previous law to make it easier for consumers to bring their own reusable containers to restaurants for food service.
“Having fun at a concert or festival does not have to result in a sea of trash,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “I am grateful Governor Newsom saw the need for this new law that will give event organizers the ability to make greener choices and reduce landfill waste.”
Despite valiant efforts by many temporary event organizers to reduce waste, most single-use food and beverage containers used at these events end up in landfills where they do not decompose and leach toxic chemicals creating public health concerns.
While significant advancements have been made to create recyclable or compostable single-use products, few single-use containers actually are fully recyclable or compostable. Further, outside of a select few municipalities, most localities in California do not have the capacity to recycle plastic food containers, and most localities do not have composting programs.
To solve this problem, further work can be done to create greener single-use products or to advance recycling and composting capabilities. However, the simpler solution is to not create any waste to begin with by allowing event organizers to make greener choices and shifting consumer behavior.
Before AB 619 was signed, California law prohibited the use of reusable food ware at temporary events. AB 619 will remove this restrictive provision and give vendors at temporary events the option to serve food and beverages in multi-use washable containers. This will give food and beverage vendors the ability to save money, protect the environment, respond to shifting consumer preferences, and market their efforts to reduce waste.
Under AB 619, temporary event vendors will be required to meet strict food safety standards and get authorization from local public health enforcement authorities in order to use reusable food ware.
Additionally, the law will clarify a confusing provision in code that was supposed to address when consumers can bring their own containers to restaurants for food service. AB 619 allows consumers to bring reusable containers to be filled but gives clear guidance to restaurants on how to serve food using the container while still ensuring adequate food safety standards are maintained.
The Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition was a sponsor of AB 619.
“Hooray! One small step for solutions to the plastic pollution crisis, one giant leap for paving the way for reusables in California! AB 619 is a crucial step in reducing our reliance on single-use disposable items that plague inland and coastal communities and ecosystems,” said Genevieve Abedon, on behalf of the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition. “The Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition is pleased to have sponsored this bill and work alongside Assemblymember Chiu and his staff to expand consumer choice, help local businesses and advance California’s longstanding goal of reducing landfill waste and plastic pollution. Thank you Assemblymember Chiu, Governor Newsom, and all of our supporters along the way.
”The law will go into effect January 1, 2020.
Assemblymember David Chiu (D–San Francisco) is the Chair of the Housing & Community Development Committee of the California State Assembly. He represents the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses eastern San Francisco. Learn more at: https://a17.asmdc.org/
MYTH #1: The technology for tethering caps does not exist and is not being used.
FACT: It does exist and it is being used. Crystal Geyser is using its 1-Cap, manufactured in California, and rolling it out eventually at all bottling plants. This cap uses less plastic and is saving the company money. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are both using sport cap designs in some of their bottled water lines.
MYTH #2: A tethered cap cannot be used for hot filled (ex: tea) or carbonated beverages.
FACT: There are multiple designs that can be used for ALL beverage types, such as StayWith™ and ThisCap.
The The Stay-With technology is adaptable to all closure platforms since Stay-With is not a new cap. It is a feature that can be added to existing caps. A single “slide” can be added to molding machines to remove the plastic that defines the tether feature so the closure can be manufactured using less plastic and works for cold fill, hot fill and carbonated beverages.
ThisCap Inc. has a developed a no extra manufacturing cost tethered flat cap designed for use on ALL single use beverage and chemical bottles requiring a tamper evident ring. ThisCap is working with a company whose machines are used to manufacture more than 50% of all tamper evident ring flat caps use worldwide. The cap – exactly the type that would be required under Assembly Bill 319 — is slated to hit the shelves in Asia, India and South Africa this year. http://www.thiscap.com/
MYTH #3 – Tethered caps may not be recyclable.
FACT- They are ALL recyclable. All bottle recyclers prefer to receive bottles with caps on so they can recycle them. Caps are made from PET or Polypropylene- the two most recyclable plastics. Recyclers all have technologies to separate PET bottles from Polypropylene caps. Carbon-Lite operates the world’s largest bottle-to-bottle plastic recycling plant in Riverside, CA. They are in support of the bill.
MYTH #4: 87% of bottles are returned with caps back on, so this isn’t a big problem.
FACT: UNTRUE. CalRecycle has not published a comprehensive study on the rate of bottles returned with or without caps on and confirmed that the 87% number referenced was taken out of context from an unrelated and small study. The results of the study were not published, not intended to be used as a source referencing bottles returned with bottle caps on, and has been used without CalRecycle’s permission. 5 billion bottle caps per year are not returned for recycling (i.e. littered or landfilled) in California (Californians Against Waste). It’s a BIG problem.
MYTH #5: Educating consumers to keep the CAP ON is the solution.
FACT: EDUCATION HAS NOT WORKED. The Assoc. of Post-Consumer Plastics Recyclers (APR) launched the CAPS ON education campaign in 2010. There’s been no reduction in cap litter counted in annual litter cleanup events. Here’s an announcement of the 2010 campaign launch: https://earth911.com/food/the-verdict-is-in-keep-the-bottle-caps-on/
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Energy And Environment Committee: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-0147_mot_01-31-14.pdf
Mar Vista Community Council: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-0147_misc_5-14-14.pdf
Santa Cruz County Packaging Ordinance, 2001 (12 page pdf)