Governor Newsom Signs the Strongest Extended Producer Responsibility Legislation in the United States

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This week, the California Legislature approved and Governor Newsom signed into law the nation’s toughest Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law, CS54 by Senator Ben Allen (D-26) and co-authored by 17 senators and members of the Assembly. SB 54 not only requires producers of all packaging to meet state-mandated source reduction and recycling targets, but ensures that producers of plastic products pay $5 billion over 10 years to remedy the plastic pollution.

“This is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) 3.0+. It was important to me that we drafted a bill that took into account lessons learned from previous EPR programs. I am very proud that SB 54 gives CalRecycle the power to revoke the producer responsibility organization if it fails Californians deserve programs that work, and with this enforcement tool and the producers invested in the success of the program, I am confident this program will be effective said Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC).

This comprehensive bill is the result of months of negotiations between industry leaders and environmental organizations including NSAC, Oceana, Ocean Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy. Additionally, CalChamber, local governments, waste haulers such as WM and Republic Services, and other industry groups such as the Biodegradable Packaging Institute were also at the negotiating table. Led by the leadership of Senator Allen, this historic legislation was made possible by complementing the ongoing advocacy of countless stakeholders and the determination of the signatories to the ballot measures.

David Stitzhal, Chairman of the Board of NSAC and President of Full Circle Environmental, said, “SB 54 assigns responsibility and accountability to product manufacturers, those who are best placed to make design changes that preserve our collective future. Combined with major advances in establishing reuse targets and protections for disadvantaged communities, this bill represents a watershed moment in US environmental policy.

The final votes were by a bipartisan 2/3 majority on SB 54 at 67-2 in the Assembly and 29-0 in the Senate and were signed by Governor Newsom today.