On May 8th, Ag Council provided written comments to CalRecycle regarding the draft regulations for the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act, SB 54. The regulations could have significant impacts on the food and agriculture sector, and our engagement aims to ensure practicality, feasibility, and alignment with the needs of our members.

SB 54 requires that those who sell or distribute a product in California (defined as “producers” under SB 54) take responsibility for the end use of their packaging materials. The measure was signed into law in 2022.

Under the statute, producers must reduce single-use plastic packaging statewide by 25 percent and 100 percent of single-use packaging must be recyclable or compostable by 2032.

Ag Council and other stakeholders are stressing the importance of a rulemaking process that recognizes the need for a concerted effort to protect food and agriculture production and food safety.

Specifically, we encourage CalRecycle to work with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to ensure food safety and public health are of paramount consideration and to identify additional supply chain-related issues that could increase the risk of spreading pests and diseases, which can wreak havoc in our state and lead to costly outcomes.

Amid concerns about achieving recycling rates and developing end market infrastructure, Ag Council urges CalRecycle to ensure expedited permitting for manufacturing plants and facilities crucial to meeting SB 54’s goals.

We also ask for more reasonable timelines within the regulation for producers to correct errors before penalties begin and request a pause in the accrual of penalties while a corrective action plan is under review by CalRecycle.

Our engagement with CalRecycle is ongoing, and we are committed to advocating that our unique challenges be addressed. In the near future, we will meet with CalRecycle staff and leadership to further discuss our concerns and proposals, ensuring that our industry’s needs are clearly understood.

To read Ag Council’s comments, which were signed by others in agriculture, please click HERE. More information about the draft regulation and the process is available on CalRecycle’s website HERE.