Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 793 (Ting and Irwin, Chapter 115, Statutes of 2020) on September 24, 2020, which establishes recycled content standards for plastic beverage containers subject to the California Refund Value (CRV). The law requires a postconsumer plastic recycled content standard of 15 percent beginning January 1, 2022, increasing to 25 percent on 2025 and 50 percent on 2030.
The law will help improve the market for recycled plastic by increasing the demand, thus increasing the scrap value of the material for recycling centers operating in the Beverage Container Recycling Program BCRP.
Non-compliant beverage manufacturers will be assessed penalties that will be deposited into the Recycling Enhancement Penalty Account. Funds from this account could be used, subject to appropriation by the Legislature, to support the recycling, infrastructure, collection, and processing of plastic beverage containers in the state. If the Legislature makes an appropriation for this purpose before June 15, 2027, CalRecycle may conduct a study of plastic markets.
In addition, the law requires plastic material reclaimers to report empty plastic beverage containers collected and sold. It also requires manufacturers of postconsumer recycled plastic to report the amount of food-grade and bottle-grade plastic material sold in the state.
CalRecycle is developing regulations to implement AB 793. CalRecycle conducted a workshop on December 2, 2020 to receive questions and comments. CalRecycle will present a workshop in early 2021 to solicit feedback from interested parties.
To receive updates, including notices regarding workshops and rulemaking, please subscribe to the Beverage Container Recycling Program General Listserv.
Beverage Manufacturer Information
- AB 793 requirements apply only to plastic beverage containers.
- Beverage manufacturers are exempt from AB 793 if they pay $15,000 or less in processing fees annually. CalRecycle will determine if a beverage manufacturer meets the requirements of PRC §14575(g)(3)(A) and is exempt.
- On January 1, 2022, beverage manufacturers are required to utilize at least 15 percent recycled plastic.
- Beginning January 1, 2023 , beverage manufacturers that do not meet the minimum content requirements are subject to annual administrative penalties. Penalties will be assessed beginning March 1, 2024 for non-compliance.
- On January 1, 2025, beverage manufacturers are required to utilize at least 25 percent recycled plastic.
- On January 1, 2030, beverage manufacturers are required to utilize at least 50 percent recycled plastic.
Enforcement and Penalties
- Penalties will be calculated at a rate of $0.20 per pound based on the shortfall of recycled content used compared to the minimum content requirement.
- Beverage manufacturers may pay penalties in quarterly installments or arrange an alternative payment schedule.
- Beverage manufacturers who fail to meet the minimum content standard may submit a corrective action plan detailing the reasons they failed, or will fail, to meet the minimum recycled content standard and how they plan to meet the standard in the future. The penalties assessed on the beverage manufacturer may be reduced if CalRecycle approves the corrective action plan.
Plastic Material Reclaimer Information
- On or before March 1, 2024, and annually thereafter, a plastic material reclaimer shall report to CalRecycle the amount in pounds and by resin type of empty plastic CRV beverage containers that the plastic material reclaimer has collected and sold in the previous calendar year.
- On or before March 1, 2024, and annually thereafter, a manufacturer of postconsumer recycled plastic shall report to CalRecycle the amount in pounds in food-grade flake, pellet, sheet, fines or other forms that were sold in the previous calendar year and their capacity to produce food-grade material. This report shall include the amount of material that meets bottle-grade specifications.
Comments and questions about AB 793 may be submitted via email to MarketInformation@CalRecycle.ca.gov. Comments may also be submitted to:
Recycling Operations Division
California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery
801 K Street, MS 17-24
Sacramento, CA 95814