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CalRecycle Releases SB 343 Preliminary Findings Report

California State House

CalRecycle released on December 28, the SB 343 Preliminary Findings Report for material types and forms that routinely become feedstock in the production of new products and packaging. SB 343, signed by California’s governor in October 2021, directed CalRecycle to provide, by January 1, 2024, information sufficient for evaluating whether a product or packaging is recyclable in California and is made from materials that routinely become feedstock used in the production of new products or packaging. (For more information on SB 343, see the article, California Governor Signs Bill to Limit Recycling Claims.)

The report does not provide any conclusions regarding actual recycling rates for specific products and packaging. However, the report includes information on the current status of recyclability for many different product and packaging types. Generally, the results show that most recycling programs in California widely accept most types of glass, metal, paper/fiber, and plastic products and packaging. For example, access level for aluminum bottles is 51%, 53% for aseptic containers, and 47% for clean molded paper fiber. Access for plastic films was 30% or lower across all surveyed categories, with a rate of 11% for compostable films. The report also noted that even where access and sortation were high, contamination with other materials existed.

A public workshop will take place on February 13, 2024 at 1:00 pm PST to discuss the findings in the preliminary report and to solicit public feedback. In addition, the report is open for public comment until February 29, 2024.