Plastics Legislation: AB 793 - How will it be enforced?

AB 793: Plastic Minimum Content Standards

In our last blog post, we briefly went over the contents of AB 793, the latest California law regarding post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in plastic beverage containers made or filled in California.

With all new regulation, comes methods of enforcement to ensure that parties that are expected to abide by these laws (in this case plastic manufacturers) follow these new rules.

In case you need a refresher, here’s the expected timeline for manufacturers to meet minimum PCR content standards, which also indicates when enforcements and fines will start to kick in.

The Language in the Bill

So What Does This Mean?

Starting March 1, 2024, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will begin assessing fines on an annual basis for improper implementation of PCR.

If a company chooses not to pay the fine, the fines would accumulate, and the party would likely be put through a formal hearing pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

How is the Fine Assessed?

The fineable amount will depend on the amount in weight of the plastic needed in production, the amount of PCR used, and the minimum amount of PCR required according to regulations at a given time. The fee will be $0.20 for every pound outside of regulation.

For example, if Company A is producing 700,000,000 lbs of plastic in 2022, when they are required to use 15% PCR according to AB793, Company A will need to use 105,000,000 lbs PCR material in their production.

If they are only incorporating 5% PCR, which is 35,000,000 pounds, the fine they'll be required to pay can be calculated as follows:

So Company A will owe $14,000,000 in March 2024 if they don't increase the PCR content in their production.

Continue to stay tuned for our coming blog posts as we go into details on how Closed Loop Plastics can help manufacturers maneuver these increasing requirements.

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