PLASTICS Releases Statement in Opposition to California SB 343

September 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) released the following statement after the California Senate passed SB 343, which now moves to Governor Newsom’s desk to be signed into law:

“SB 343 puts more plastic in landfills, not less,” said Matt Seaholm, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Plastics Industry Association. “A number of common plastic products like yogurt cups and microwavable trays would be deemed unrecyclable and, therefore, would be landfilled. 4.5 million tons of polypropylene would now be landfilled as a result of this legislation. All of these products and many more are not only recyclable but are currently recycled in California. We urge the Governor to veto this misguided legislation and work with all stakeholders on commonsense solutions to reduce plastic waste, such as increasing investment in recycling infrastructure.”

SB 343:

  • SB 343 establishes stringent criteria for what can be considered recyclable, SB 343 creates a definition of “recyclable” which will have impacts on all future legislation related to the circular economy and recycled content mandates.
  • SB 343 includes labeling restrictions for packaging and products, creating more labeling complexity and increasing confusion for consumers.
  • Products with long standing recycling regimes – such as e-waste and batteries – and products covered under voluntary product stewardship programs, will be prohibited from making recyclability claims and communicating with consumers on the available methods for recycling these products via existing California recycling infrastructure. This will harm recycling and recovery.
  • Materials collected outside of the curbside system should not be required to meet stricter recycling criteria than curbside materials.
  • SB 343 directly will conflict with labeling requirements in 29 other states, Japan, and the EU.

Additional Resources

  • PLASTICS June 2021 testimony before the California State Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee

About Plastics Industry Association

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $432 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability. To learn more about PLASTICS’ education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, networking opportunities and policy advocacy, and North America’s largest plastics trade show, NPE: The Plastics Show, visit Connect with PLASTICS on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.