Sunday, 26 June 2022

Senate approves wine, spirits bottle recycling bill

SACRAMENTO – The California Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve legislation written by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego, and co-written by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to add wine and distilled spirits bottles to California’s recycling program.

“I am really pleased that so many of our Senate colleagues recognized the importance of this common sense bill that benefits our environment and consumers,” Sen. Dodd said. “With SB 1013 we can increase the recycling rates of millions of bottles that would otherwise wind up in our landfills or be illegally discarded. I look forward to seeing this bill with all its benefits for California pass the Assembly and be signed by Gov. Newsom.”

“SB 1013 is historic change that is 40 years in the making,” Pro Tem Atkins said. “I want to commend the wine industry, distilled spirits industry, environmental advocates, and other groups who have come together to support this landmark proposal. We will continue working with stakeholders as the bill moves through the Assembly to make sure remaining concerns are addressed, and then, hopefully, 2022 will be the year we can pop a cork and celebrate this overdue improvement to California’s recycling law.”

The California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, established in 1986, encourages consumers to recycle beverage containers by requiring them to pay a deposit for eligible bottles.

According to a 2019 report, curbside programs received approximately $172 million from the so-called Bottle Bill in 2017, including $15 million that is annually provided from the Beverage Container Recycling Fund.

Although the program includes beer, it does not include wine or spirits. It is estimated that California generates more than 500 million wine and spirits bottles each year, with less than 30% being recycled and over 300 million wine and spirits bottles going into landfills.

Under Senate Bill 1013, wine and spirits bottles would be added to the program, leading to more recycling, increased business for recycling centers and reduced processing costs.

The expansion would also cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide while reducing litter of wine and spirits containers, a visible and dangerous component of urban litter pollution.

SB1013 is supported by a number of groups including Californians Against Waste, Heal the Bay, California Association of Local Conservation Corps, Monterey Regional Waste Management District, National Stewardship Action Council, Northern California Recycling Association, California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, The 5 Gyres Institute, the Plastic Pollution Coalition and Zero Waste USA. It has no formal opposition.

It passed the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support. It heads next to the Assembly.

Dodd represents the Third Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa and Sacramento counties.

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