Recycling Makes a Comeback
Gov. Newsom signs bill for the return of reusable beverage bottles
October 14, 2021
By Jack Simon, Observer Staff Writer
Californians will soon see the return of glass beverage bottles to their supermarkets.
Governor Gavin Newsom this week signed a bill, AB 962, which paves the way for reusable glass bottles to flow through the state’s beverage recycling program.
“Now, rather than bottles being crushed for recycling, the bottles can be preserved to be washed and refilled by beverage producers -- simultaneously creating jobs and reducing waste,” said Senator Sydney Kamlager (D-LA), author of the legislation.
Kamlager said AB 962 will allow returnable glass bottles to flow through the CalRecycle Beverage Container Recycling Program and ensure recycling centers and processors receive the same payment for handling reusable glass beverage containers as they do recycling single-use glass bottles.
The state senator maintains that reusable glass bottles have a 70% lower carbon footprint than certain types of single-use plastic bottles and reusable bottles go through 15 to 20 refills on average.
“To move towards a more sustainable, circular economy--we need to look to the past. And that means returning back to a model where reusable glass was a primary form of packaging,” said Kamlager. “And that put us on a path towards a greener economy.”
AB 962, which received widespread support in the Legislature, was cosponsored by Californians Against Waste and Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition.
“This bill evens the playing field for businesses recreating refillable glass bottles systems as an alternative to single-use plastic bottles,” said Amy Gilson, Policy Manager, Californians Against Waste.
“AB 962 delivers landmark legislation to all Californians,” said Caren McNamara, Founder/CEO of Conscious Container, prominent supporter of the bill. “This bill enables reusable/refillable glass beverage containers to flow through our deposit redemption system for washing and refilling, directly reducing the carbon and waste impact of every glass, plastic and aluminum single-use beverage container sold in the State of California.”
Having been signed into law, CalRecyle will work with stakeholders to develop regulations that support AB 962.