California Governor Signs Truth in Labeling for Recyclable Materials Bill

Californian governor Gavin Newsom signed
Senate Bill 343 – Truth in Labeling for Recyclable Materials – into law on
October 5, 2021.

SB 343 prohibits any person from offering
for sale, selling, distributing or importing into the state of California any
product or packaging with recyclability claims unless they are accurate and truthful
in practice. To meet the criteria for displaying the chasing arrows symbol, or
other symbols/statements indicating recyclability, a product of packaging must
meet statewide criteria for recyclability. It must also made from a material
type and form that can routinely become feedstock for the production of a new product
or packaging.

On or before January 1, 2024, the
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) must provide
consumers with accurate information about whether a product and/or its
packaging can be recycled by:

  • Updating the
    regulations requiring disposal facility operators to submit information collection
    and recyclability of materials
  • Conducting
    and publishing a characterization study of material types and forms that are
    collected, sorted, sold, or transferred by solid waste facilities and deemed
    appropriate by CalRecycle (updated every fives)

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Following the publishing of the material
characterization study, manufacturers will be given 18 months or until January
1, 2024, whichever is later, to ensure their products and packaging don’t carry
any deceptive or misleading claims regarding recyclability.

Products/packaging must meet the following
criteria (where applicable):

  • Does not
    include any components, inks, adhesives, or labels that prevent the
    recyclability of the product or packaging
  • Does not
    contain an intentionally added chemical identified pursuant to the regulations
    implementing subparagraph (4) of subdivision (g) of Section 42370.2
  • Not made
    from plastic or fiber that contains perfluoroalkyl, polyfluoroalkyl substances
    or PFAS that meet either of the following criteria:

    • Intentionally added to a product or packaging (includes
      chemicals and PFAS that are intentional breakdown products)
    • Present at or above 100 ppm, as measured in total
      organic fluorine

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Products/packaging are deemed recyclable
if they can:

  • Demonstrate
    a recycling rate of at least 75%, meaning that not less than 75% of the product
    or packaging sorted and aggregated in the state is reprocessed into new
    products or packaging
  • Before
    January 1, 2030, a product or packaging not collected pursuant to a curb side
    collection program if at least 60% of the product or packaging is recovered and
    the material has sufficient commercial value to be marketed for recycling and
    be transported at the end of its useful life to a transfer, processing, or
    recycling facility to be sorted and aggregated into defined streams by material
    type and form. After January 1, 2030, the recovered percentage will increase to
  • Product or
    packaging is part of, and in compliance with, a program established on or after
    January 1, 2022, governing the recyclability or disposal of that product or
    packaging if the director determines that the product or packaging will not
    increase contamination of curbside recycling or deceive consumers

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Exemptions to the regulation exist for a
variety of products, including some beverage containers and rechargeable
batteries, which are within the scope of other federal and state legislation.

To learn more about the requirements of SB
343 and the state criteria for recyclability, read SGS’s original SafeGuard

SGS Consumer Product Services

SGS provides news about the development of
regulations affecting consumer products as a complimentary service. With a
global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including
physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for
technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of
consumer products.
Learn more
about SGS’s
Consumer Product Services.

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the
latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full California,
USA Prohibits Deceptive or Misleading Recyclability Claims

Subscribe here to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox.

For further information contact:

Dennis Lancion

Technical Manager – Hardlines

Tel: +1 (905) 364 3757

Michael S. Richardson

Sustainability Manager

Tel: +973 289 9862



LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

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