On October 12, 2019, the governor of the U.S. state of California is reported to have vetoed state bill AB-792 that would have required 50% recycled content be achieved in plastic bottles by 2030. The bill passed the state’s legislature along with a series of others focused on recycling in September 2019 (FPF reported). However, the governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement along with the veto that said “while I support strong minimum recycled content standards, late amendments to this bill would result in a costly, burdensome process that undermines the worthy intent of this legislation. The waiver petitions allowed under this bill would put the burden on the state to prove to manufacturers that their products can meet recycling goals, rather than making clear that manufacturers have the responsibility to create products that can meet those goals.”

The comments are thought to be referring to an amendment added late in the bill’s negotiating process by the American Beverage Association that represents large beverage manufacturers such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. The amendment would allow such manufacturers to appeal the recycled content requirement if they fail to meet the set targets. Stakeholders involved in the negotiations were disappointed to hear the news of the veto, and the legislature now can revise and resubmit the bill for approval next year.

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Monica Lam (October 14, 2019). “California Governor Vetoes Ambitious Bottle Recycling Bill, Citing ‘Burdensome’ Amendments.” KQED

Steve Toloken (October 14, 2019). “California governor vetoes tough recycled content legislation.” Plastics News