The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) monitors the provisions of Public Resources Code (PRC) Sections 42290-42298 and California Code of Regulations Title 14 (14CCR) Sections 17975-17985 with respect to plastic trash bag mandates. Manufacturers and wholesalers selling plastic trash bags in California must meet these mandates annually. Manufacturers and wholesalers who fail to comply are considered noncompliant. Noncompliant companies are ineligible for the award of any State contract or subcontract, or for the renewal, extension, or modification of an existing contract or subcontract for goods or services until CalRecycle determines it is in compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the plastic trash bag law.
- Requirements for Manufacturers
- Assistance for Manufacturers
- Requirements for Wholesalers
- Compliant and Noncompliant Manufacturers and Wholesalers
- State Contracts
Requirements for Manufacturers
Must annually certify their compliance by submitting their certification documentation to CalRecycle on or before March 1 each year. 14CCR Section 17979 requires manufacturers of regulated trash bags (at or above 0.70 mil thickness) to certify one of the following:
- That you met the annual aggregate use requirements that plastic trash bags intended for sale in California contained Actual Postconsumer Material (APCM) equal to at least 10 percent by weight of the regulated trash bags.
- That you met the annual aggregate use requirement that 30 percent of the weight of the material used in all of your plastic products intended for sale in California is APCM.
- Were exempt from meeting the requirements because all of the regulated trash bags you sold in California during the previous reporting period were either:
- below the minimum gauge standard, or were
- hazardous or medical waste bags, or were
- non-plastic trash bags.
To report this information for the preceding calendar year, use Form 57 (discussed below in the Forms section).
Assistance for Manufacturers
The following is excerpted from the regulations pertaining to this Recycled Content Trash Bag Program, which can be viewed in their entirety on our site.
17980.5. What If I Determine During A Reporting Period That I Cannot Meet the Recycled Plastic Postconsumer Material (RPPCM) Content Requirements?
(a) I am a manufacturer of regulated trash bags. Will CalRecycle provide me with any assistance if I determine, during a reporting period, that I may not or cannot meet the RPPCM content requirement?
If at any time during a reporting period, you determine you may not meet the RPPCM content requirement, you must contact CalRecycle within ten (10) calendar days of making the determination.
Suppliers of RPPCM: I am a supplier of RPPCM who has sold material to a manufacturer of regulated plastic trash bags who is required to comply with these regulations. What must I do to comply with these regulations?
To comply with these regulations, you must:
- Provide each regulated trash bag manufacturer with a statement identifying the quantity and proximate prior usage of the RPPCM sold for use in the regulated trash bags; and
- Provide information regarding the actual postconsumer content (APCM) of the RPPCM sold to the manufacturer for use in the regulated trash bags; and
- Provide any other information required of the manufacturer by CalRecycle for the purposes of inclusion in the annual certification to CalRecycle.
Requirements for Wholesalers
Must annually certify their compliance by submitting their certification documentation to CalRecycle on or before March 1 each year. 14 CCR section 17979.5 requires the documentation to include:
- Your company name, headquarters mailing address, telephone number and contact person, and every physical address from which regulated plastic trash bags were shipped.
- A list of each manufacturer and each wholesaler from whom you purchased regulated plastic trash bags during the reporting period.
- The number of regulated plastic trash bags and the tons of regulated plastic trash bags shipped from each physical location which were intended for sale or distribution or sold in California during the reporting period.
To report this information for the preceding calendar year, use Form 58 (discussed below in the Forms section).
Certification reports are due by March 1 each year. You can mail, email, or fax your certification to the following addresses and fax number:
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
Attn: Plastic Trash Bag Certification Program
P.O. Box 4025, MS 10-17-A
Sacramento, CA 95812-4025
Fax: (916) 319-7694
If you are new to the program or did not receive a reminder notification, please see the attached letter for Plastic Trash Bag Manufacturers or for Plastic Trash Bag Wholesalers. (Both forms updated March 10, 2015)
If you need another Manufacturer Certification form (CIWMB 57) or the Wholesaler Certification form (CIWMB 58), please contact program staff to receive a copy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compliant and Noncompliant Manufacturers and Wholesalers
Plastic trash bag manufacturers that did not met the minimum RPPCM content requirements and manufacturers and wholesalers that did not submit complete certifications to CalRecycle are noncompliant. 14 CCR Section 17985(b) requires CalRecycle to publish the list of noncompliant manufacturers and wholesalers. The list is posted to CalRecycle’s website and transmitted to the Department of General Services and state and local procurement officers.
The summary list of compliant and noncompliant manufacturers and wholesalers is based on certifications received (or not received) by CalRecycle for each reporting period (January 1 through December 31).
PRC Section 42297, states that any supplier, manufacturer, or wholesaler, and any of its divisions, subsidiaries, or successors, who fails to comply with this chapter, shall be ineligible for the award of any state contract or subcontract, or for the renewal, extension, or modification of an existing contract or subcontract, until CalRecycle determines that it is in compliance with this chapter.
Additionally, no state agency shall solicit offers from, award contracts to, or renew, extend, or modify a current contract or subcontract with, any supplier, manufacturer, or wholesaler, or any of its divisions, subsidiaries, or successors, who fails to comply with this chapter until the board determines that it is in compliance with this chapter.