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Newsom Nixes Thermoform Recycling Bill

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that he is not signing Assembly Bill 2784, which would have established minimum recycled content in thermoform plastic containers and mandated CalRecycle to collect fees from producers whose products did not meet those requirements.

Noting that he strongly supports California’s transition to a circular economy, Newsom wrote in his statement that AB 2784 imposed “confusing requirements” in conflict with some provisions of SB 54, which he signed into law in June of this year. It is considered to be the nation’s toughest law targeting single-use plastics.

“SB 54 was specifically designed to create a comprehensive regulatory framework for all recycled materials, in lieu of piecemeal approaches for individual products,” Newsom wrote in his statement. “With this objective in mind, we should allow CalRecycle to begin its work to implement the reforms required by SB 54 before contemplating any new recycling requirements for individual materials.”

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), among other industry groups, applauded the move. “We appreciate the action taken by Governor Newsom to veto AB 2784,” said Matt Seaholm, President and CEO of PLASTICS, in a prepared statement. “Governor Newsom rightly points out in his veto message that AB 2784 would have caused confusing laws following the passage of SB 54 earlier this year.

“Our industry encourages policy that promotes a responsible, circular economy. While we support reasonable recycled content requirements where they make sense, thermoform to thermoform recycling, in the manner mandated by AB 2784, does not,” concluded Seaholm.

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