CA Product Stewardship Council

Requiring manufacturers to design products and packaging to be less-toxic, longer-lasting and recyclable (California Product Stewardship Council)

How IT can benefit you

You pay taxes to local governments to recycle or safely dispose of harmful:

  • Products like electronics, mattresses, fluorescent lighting, batteries, paint, thermostats, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, carpet, and needles.
  • Packaging like plastics and Styrofoam.

Many products and packaging are designed to be disposed, instead of reused or recycled. If manufacturers were required to pay to recycle or safely disposal them, it:

That’s called extended producer responsibility (EPR) or product stewardship.

Why it's a leading program

CPSC is a nonprofit network of local governments, nonprofits, businesses, and individuals.  CPSC’s legislative successes in California resulted in requests from across the country for assistance. So in 2015, CPSC created the National Stewardship Action Council to carry CPSC’s work forward without lobbying limits on a national scale.

Goal

To have manufacturers fund programs for their products and packaging by:

  • Recycling or taking them back.
  • Designing them to be zero waste (cradle-to-cradle).

Who can take action

Get tips for your home and policy updates from CPSC by:

Create takeback programs and policies.

Learn how to lobby your CA lawmakers.

Get invited to events and webinars if you become a member. Contact: info@calpsc.org.

Outcome

139 cities and counties passed resolutions supporting an EPR policy approach.

Five California counties also passed ordinances requiring pharmaceutical companies fund the collection and disposal of unwanted medicine from residents.

Contact

California Product Stewardship Council, (916)706-3420, info@calpsc.org

Last Updated

December 20, 2015

SF Construction and Demolition Ordinance

Requiring all building materials, packaging, vegetation to be reused or recycled (Construction and Demolition Ordinance)

San Francisco, CA

SF construction and demolition brochure  

SF construction and demolition brochure  


How you can benefit

If you have construction and demolition (C&D) debris, you can sell reusable or recyclable materials (such as metal, wood, drywall, cardboard, concrete, etc.) that are separated at the job site (source-separated). You must take them to a facility that reuses or recycles those materials, such as these Registered Facilities (per the C&D ordinance).

Mixed C&D debris must be transported off-site by Registered Transporters to Registered Facilities that process debris for recycling. C&D debris includes all building materials like asphalt, concrete, brick, rock, soil, lumber, gypsum wallboard, cardboard and other packaging, roofing, tile, carpeting, fixtures, pipes, metals, tree stumps and vegetation from clearing land.  

Goal

100% of C&D debris cannot be put in the garbage or landfill.

Who can take action

It applies to all construction, such as:

  • New construction
  • Remodels
  • Tenant improvements
  • Partial and full demolitions
  • Additions
  • Repairs

Contact

Mary Williams, Construction and Demolition Recycling Assistant, San Francisco Department of the Environment, (415) 355-3767, mary.williams@sfgov.org

Last Updated

September 9, 2015

San Jose Zero Waste Resolution

Achieving zero waste by 2022 (Zero Waste Resolution)

San Jose, CA

Zero waste infographic by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Zero waste infographic by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

 

How you can benefit

The resolution creates quality, local jobs with competitive wages. It can also save the city money because when their local landfill gets full and closes, San Jose will have to pay more to haul waste farther away.

Why it's a leading policy

The resolution resulted in many partnerships. The City partnered with:

  • Lawrence National Laboratory to build the largest facility in the world to turn food scraps, yard waste and other compostable materials into clean energy in 2013.
  • San Jose Conservation Corps to prepare disadvantaged youth for careers in sustainability.

Goal

To create zero waste by 2022.

Who can take action

All businesses, residents, and city staff.

Budget to coordinate the policy

The San Jose Zero Waste Strategic Plan and study to measure waste (Waste Characterization Study) cost $500,000 in consultant services.

Contact

Jo Zientek, Deputy Director, Integrated Waste Management, San Jose, (408) 535-8557, jo.zientek@sanjoseca.gov

Last updated

August 14, 2015

SF Foodware & Packaging Ordinance

USA's strictest ban on Styrofoam: foodware, packaging, coolers, toys, buoys and more (Food Service and Packaging Waste Reduction Ordinance), 2016

San Francisco, CA

2016-08 SF styrofoam ban.png

How IT can benefit you

Styrene in foam foodware can leach into food and drink can cause cancer in humans. And polystyrene foam breaks into smaller, non-biodegradable pieces that are eaten by animals, which can harm or kill them.

The 2007 San Francisco Food Waste Reduction Ordinance banned Styrofoam foodware and required the use of compostable or recyclable foodware.  A plastic-like product does not compost unless it has a logo of these certifiers: Biodegradable Products Institute, Din Certco AIB Vinçotte Inter (Belgium), Japan Bioplastics Association or Australian Environmental Labeling Association.  So prohibited bags and foodware include ones with unsubstantiated claims like “green”, “environmentally friendly,” “biodegradable,” “degradable,” “will decompose,” “photodegradable,” “made from corn starch.”  They have not been tested for compostability.

The 2016 ordinance bans everyone from selling or distributing these things starting 2017:

  • Any foodware that is not either compostable or recyclable by the City  
  • Meat and fish trays and egg cartons
  • Packing materials including shipping boxes and packing peanuts
  • Coolers. ice chests, or similar containers
  • Pool or beach toys
  • Dock floats. mooring buoys, or navigation markers

Why this is a leading policy

The 2007 ordinance had the most comprehensive list of acceptable compostable and recyclable foodware compared to other food ban ordinances.

The 2016 Food Service and Packaging Waste Reduction ordinance bans the most foam products in the USA.

Goal

Protect our health and environment by creating zero waste.

Who can take action

Anyone can help violators get a friendly reminder.

Outcome

City litter audits from 2007 to 2009 showed that there was a 41% decrease in Styrofoam use.

Public Outreach & Education

San Francisco Department of the Environment provides assistance to food providers through:

Contact

Jack Macy, Commercial Zero Waste Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment, 415-355-3752, Jack.Macy@sfgov.org

Last Updated

August 1, 2016

Santa Monica Non-Recyclable Food Service Container Ban

Banning non-recyclable foodware for prepared food providers and City events (Non-Recyclable Food Service Container Ban), 2007

Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica banned plastic #6 & foam foodware

Santa Monica banned plastic #6 & foam foodware

How IT can benefit you

Within only three hours, volunteers picked up over 75,000 pounds of trash from Santa Monica beaches, most of which was polystyrene foam and plastic.  Styrene in foam foodware can leach into food and drink and can cause cancer in humans.  And polystyrene foam breaks into smaller, non-biodegradable pieces that are eaten by animals, which can harm or kill them.

So Santa Monica created the Non-Recyclable Food Service Container Ban.  See the bans:

  • Printable, display size pictures of containers that are banned (#6 plastics), not recommended (bio-plastics, all of which the city cannot compost), and allowed (recyclable plastic and compostable paper)
  • Vendors
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Successes
  • Ordinance
  • Staff Report

Help businesses get a friendly reminder if they use banned, non-recyclable plastic with the recycling symbol #6.

Why this is a leading policy

Unlike San Francisco's and Richmond's foodware ordinances, Santa Monica does not recommend bio-plastics because they contaminate recycling bins and the city cannot compost them (even if they are labelled "compostable").

The city also created a guide on how food providers can use and promote reusable foodware, create less waste, and serve healthy food.  For example, some vendors got creative and used paper cones for fries.

The city also encourages food providers to save money on foodware by giving customers discounts or other treats if they bring reusable foodware.

Goal

Protect people and animals from cancer-causing styrene foodware and prevent waste.

Who can take action

Prepared food providers and City operations, city managed concessions, and city sponsored and permitted events.

OutcomeS

Over 600 food vendors, 100 food trucks and all city facilities stopped using non-recyclable foodware as of 2012. Santa Monica Airport uses compostable-coated paper cups, paper plates and bowls and 100% post-consumer recycled napkins. Santa Monica City College and all private and public school have phased out all polystyrene in their cafeterias.

No one requested an exemption (or went out of business due to the ban) and less than 5% of food vendors received warnings or citations.

Support & Opposition

The City was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Waste Prevention Award from the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) for their groundbreaking policy.

Budget to Coordinate the Program

Additional staff (0.25 full time equivalent) and funding for materials were needed to conduct workshops and outreach during a two-year interim period. The budget to implement the ban was approximately $45,000.

Fines fund the program. The city penalizes violators with a written warning first, $100 for the second violation, then daily fines of up to $250 for subsequent violations.

Contact

Josephine Miller, Environmental Analyst, City of Santa Monica, 310-458-4925, josephine.miller@smgov.net

Last Updated

October 9, 2015

SF Checkout Bag Ordinance

First city in the U.S. to ban plastic bags in food establishments and retailers (Checkout Bag Ordinance)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

How IT can benefit you

San Francisco shoppers used 180 million bags a year.   Cats,  turtles, and other animals accidentally eat plastic bags and choke, or their stomach gets lined with the bag so they cannot eat, or they get poisoned by plastic.  That's partly why the city required all food establishments and retail stores to:

  • Not give out single-use plastic checkout bags.  
  • Charge a $0.10 minimum to customers on all compliant checkout bags (compostable plastic bags labeled with a certification logo, paper bags labeled with 40% post-consumer recycled content, or are washable and reusable for at least 125 uses).   Stores keep the charge.
  • Display the charge separately on the customer receipt.
  • Not charge food stamp program transactions.

Why this is a leading policy

San Francisco was the first city in the U.S. to ban single-use plastic bags.  As of 2015, over 130 jurisdictions in California have followed.  Unlike the Los Angeles county ban, it also applies to food establishments. 

Goal

To reduce the number of single-use plastic bags and incentivize the use of reusable bags.

Who can take action

Help non-compliant retailers and food establishments get a friendly reminder.

Outcome

The $0.10 charge per bag reduced the number of disposable bags used by over 70%. There has also been a noticeable amount of less trash in the streets.

Contact

Jack Macy, Commercial Zero Waste Coordinator at San Francisco Department of the Environment, (415) 355-3751, jack.macy@sfgov.org

Last Updated

August 14, 2015
 

SF Recycling & Composting Ordinance

The most comprehensive recycling and composting law in the U.S. (Recycling and Composting Ordinance)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

How YOU can benefit

If you put compostables (food, plants, paper foodware, plastics labelled “compostable" not “biodegradable") in the landfill, you will create polluting greenhouse gasses.  About 25% of what is in the landfill can be composted.  So in 2009, San Francisco created the Recycling and Composting Ordinance which:

  • Created hundreds of jobs.
  • Can fine building owners $100-1,000 if they do not give tenants blue recycling, green composting, and black landfill bins and information on what to put in them.

Businesses can save up to 75% off their bill by reducing the size of their landfill bin or frequency of pick-up.

why this is a leading policy

This ordinance is the strictest and most comprehensive recycling and composting law in the U.S. because it requires everyone to comply: residents, businesses and governments.

goal

To achieve zero waste by 2020.

who can take action

All residents, businesses and city departments.

You can help building owners get a friendly reminder.

outcome

Over 8,700 apartment buildings and 16,000 commercial buildings have composting and recycling services, giving the ordinance a 99% compliance rate.

contact

Jack Macy, Commercial Zero Waste Coordinator at San Francisco Department of the Environment, (415) 355-3751, jack.macy@sfgov.org

last updated

August 14, 2015

Los Angeles Reducing single-use bags: (Single Use Bag Ordinance)

Banning plastic bags in grocery, convenience stores and pharmacies (Single-Use Bag Ordinance)

Los Angeles COUNTY, CA

Join over 400 residents that pledged to go Clean LA Plastic Bag Free 

Join over 400 residents that pledged to go Clean LA Plastic Bag Free 

How you can benefit

Cats,  turtles, and other animals accidentally eat plastic bags and choke, or their stomach gets lined with bags so they cannot eat, or they get poisoned by plastic.  Businesses like Nelson Garcia of Alba Snacks agree plastic bags are unnecessary.  That's partly why the county created the Single Use Bag Ordinance to:

  • Stop giving customers plastic carryout bags (produce bags or product bags are exempt).
  • Make available to customers recyclable paper carryout bags or reusable carryout bags.
  • Charge customers using recyclable paper carryout bags $0.10 per bag. 
  • Give free paper or reusable bags to customers in the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or CalFresh/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Indicate the number of recyclable paper carryout bags provided and the total amount charged for the bags on customer receipts.

Why this is a leading policy

The ordinance affects over one million residents and about 800 stores.  Unlike bans like San Francisco's, it requires businesses to submit quarterly reports.

Goal

To reduce litter and landfill disposal, prevent blight, and protect animals.

Who can take action

Help these non-compliant businesses get a friendly reminder:

Outcome

Large stores reduced single use bags by 90%.

BUDGET TO COORDINATE THE PROGRAM

Penalties include a written warning, then a fine not exceeding $100 for the first violation, up to $200 for the second, and up to $500 for subsequent violations. Fines help the Department of Public Works enforce the ordinance.

Contact

Coby Skye, Associate Civil Engineer LA County, (626) 458-5163, cskye@dpw.lacounty.gov

Last updated

September 25, 2015