BILL NUMBER: AB 1972	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  436
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  SEPTEMBER 27, 2008
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  SEPTEMBER 27, 2008
	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 11, 2008
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 13, 2008
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 4, 2008
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 19, 2008
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 17, 2008
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 24, 2008

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member DeSaulnier

                        FEBRUARY 14, 2008

   An act to amend Sections 42356, 42357, 42359.5, and 42359.6 of,
and to add Sections 42356.1 and 42359.7 to, the Public Resources
Code, relating to solid waste.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1972, DeSaulnier. Solid waste: plastic bags: food and beverage
containers.
   (1) Existing law prohibits a person from selling a plastic bag
that is labeled as "compostable," "biodegradable," "degradable," or
as otherwise specified unless, at the time of sale, the bag meets a
current American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard
specification for the term used on the label.
   This bill would, instead, prohibit the sale of a plastic bag that
is labeled as "compostable" or "marine degradable," unless that bag
meets the ASTM Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics D6400,
the ASTM Standard Specification for Non-Floating Biodegradable
Plastics in the Marine Environment D7081, or a standard adopted by
the California Integrated Waste Management Board, as specified. The
bill also would prohibit the sale of a plastic bag that is labeled as
"biodegradable," "degradable," "decomposable," or as otherwise
specified.
   (2) Existing law prohibits a person from selling a plastic food or
beverage container that is labeled as "biodegradable," "compostable,"
"degradable," or as otherwise specified, unless, at the time of
sale, the container meets the ASTM Standard Specification for
Compostable Plastics D6400-04.
   This bill would, instead, prohibit the sale of a food or beverage
container, as defined, that is labeled as "compostable" or "marine
degradable," unless that container meets a specified ASTM standard
specification or a standard adopted by the California Integrated
Waste Management Board, as specified. The bill also would prohibit
the sale of a food or beverage container that is labeled as
"biodegradable," "degradable," "decomposable," or as otherwise
specified.
   (3) This bill, for purposes of the provisions relating to labeling
plastic bags and food and beverage containers, would require the
board to review revisions of specified ASTM standard specifications
and would authorize the board, in some cases, to adopt those
standards. The bill would authorize the board to review new ASTM
standard specifications and other specified standards, and in certain
circumstances, to make a recommendation to the Legislature.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
   (a) Littered plastic bags and plastic containers have caused and
continue to cause significant environmental harm and have burdened
local governments with significant environmental cleanup costs.
   (b) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that
environmental marketing claims, including claims of biodegradation,
do not lead to an increase in environmental harm associated with
plastic bag and plastic container litter by providing consumers with
a false belief that certain bags and containers are less harmful to
the environment if littered.
   (c) The ability of a plastic bag or a plastic container to
biodegrade is a function of both the physical and chemical makeup of
the bag or the container as well as the environmental conditions that
the bag or container is subjected to.
   (d) Use of the term "degradable," "biodegradable," "decomposable,"
or other similar terms on plastic bags and plastic containers is
inherently misleading unless the claim includes a thorough disclaimer
providing necessary qualifying details including, but not limited
to, the environments and timeframes in which the claimed action will
take place.
   (e) Given the complex nature of biodegradation and the fact that
most plastic bags and plastic containers will travel through multiple
environments from the time of manufacture to the time of final
disposition, and given the intrinsic constraints of marketing claims,
including the space on the packaging container or bag, there is no
reasonable ability for plastic bag and plastic container
manufacturers to provide an adequate disclaimer qualifying the use of
these and like terms without relying on an established scientific
standard specification for the action claimed.
   (f) Given these and other constraints, and the significant
environmental harm that is caused by plastic bag and container
litter, the use of these terms must be prohibited unless, or until
such time as, there is a standard for the term claimed that has been
approved by the Legislature.
  SEC. 2.  Section 42356 of the Public Resources Code is amended to
read:
   42356.  For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions
apply:
   (a) "ASTM" means the American Society for Testing and Materials.
   (b) (1) "ASTM standard specification" means one of the following:
   (A) The ASTM Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics
D6400, as published in September 2004, except as provided in
subdivision (c) of Section 42356.1.
   (B) The ASTM Standard Specification for Non-Floating Biodegradable
Plastics in the Marine Environment D7081, as published in August
2005, except as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 42356.1.
   (2) "ASTM standard specification" does not include an ASTM
Standard Guide, a Standard Practice, or a Standard Test Method.
   (c) "Manufacturer" means a person, firm, association, partnership,
or corporation that produces a plastic bag.
   (d) "Supplier" means a person who does one or more of the
following:
   (1) Sells, offers for sale, or offers for promotional purposes, a
plastic bag that is used by a person to contain a product.
   (2) Takes title to a plastic bag produced either domestically or
in a foreign country, that is purchased for resale or promotional
purposes.
  SEC. 3.  Section 42356.1 is added to the Public Resources Code, to
read:
   42356.1.  (a) If an ASTM standard specification specified in
paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 42356 is subsequently
revised, the board shall review the new ASTM standard specification
as follows:
   (1) If the board determines that the new standard is more
stringent and more protective of the public health, safety, and the
environment, and is reflective of and consistent with state policies
and programs, the board may adopt the new standard.
   (2) If the board determines that the new standard is not as
stringent and does not protect the public health, safety, and the
environment, and is not reflective of and consistent with state
policies and programs, the board shall not adopt the new standard.
   (b) If the ASTM, or any other entity, develops a new standard
specification or other applicable standard for any of the terms
prohibited under subdivision (a) of Section 42357, the board may
review the new standard and, if the board determines that the new
standard for the prohibited term is more stringent and more
protective of the public health, safety, and the environment, and is
reflective of and consistent with state policies and programs, the
board may make a recommendation to the Legislature.
   (c)  Compliance with a standard adopted pursuant to paragraph (1)
of subdivision (a) shall be deemed to be in compliance with this
chapter.
  SEC. 4.  Section 42357 of the Public Resources Code is amended to
read:
   42357.  (a) (1) A person shall not sell a plastic bag in this
state that is labeled with the term "compostable" or "marine
degradable," unless, at the time of sale, the plastic bag meets the
applicable ASTM standard specification, as specified in paragraph (1)
of subdivision (b) of Section 42356.
   (2) Compliance with only a section or a portion of a section of an
applicable ASTM standard specification does not constitute
compliance with paragraph (1).
   (b) Except as provided in subdivision (a), a person shall not sell
a plastic bag in this state that is labeled with the term
"biodegradable," "degradable," or "decomposable," or any form of
those terms, or in any way imply that the bag will break down,
fragment, biodegrade, or decompose in a landfill or other
environment.
   (c) A manufacturer or supplier, upon the request of a member of
the public, shall submit to that member, within 90 days of the
request, information and documentation demonstrating compliance with
this chapter, in a format that is easy to understand and
scientifically accurate.
  SEC. 5.  Section 42359.5 of the Public Resources Code is amended to
read:
   42359.5.  For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions
apply:
   (a) "ASTM" means the American Society for Testing and Materials.
   (b) "ASTM standard specification" means one of the following:
   (1) The ASTM Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics
D6400, as published in September 2004, except as specified in
subdivision (c) of Section 42359.7.
   (2) The ASTM Standard Specification for Non-Floating Biodegradable
Plastics in the Marine Environment D7081, as published in August
2005, except as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 42359.7.
   (3) The ASTM Standard Specification for Biodegradable Plastics
Used as Coatings on Paper and Other Compostable Substrates D6868, as
published in August 2003, except as specified in subdivision (c) of
Section 42359.7.
   (c)  "Food or beverage container" means a product that contains
food or drink items, or utensils, for retail sale and is composed of
one or more of the following:
   (1) Plastic.
   (2) Paper with plastic coatings.
   (3) Paper with plastic modifiers.
   (4) Molded fiber.
   (d) "Manufacturer" means a person, firm, association, partnership,
or corporation that produces a food or beverage container.
   (e) "Supplier" means a person who does one or more of the
following:
   (1) Sells, offers for sale, or offers for promotional purposes, a
food or beverage container that is used by a person to contain a
product.
   (2) Takes title to a food or beverage container produced either
domestically or in a foreign country, that is purchased for resale or
promotional purposes.
   SEC. 6.  Section 42359.6 of the Public Resources Code is amended
to read:
   42359.6.  (a) (1) A person shall not sell a food or beverage
container in this state that is labeled with the term "compostable"
or "marine degradable," unless, at the time of sale, the food or
beverage container meets the applicable ASTM standard specification,
as specified in subdivision (b) of Section 42359.5.
   (2) Compliance with only a section or a portion of a section of an
applicable ASTM standard specification does not constitute
compliance with paragraph (1).
   (b) Except as provided in subdivision (a), a person shall not sell
a food or beverage container in this state that is labeled with the
term "biodegradable," "degradable," or "decomposable," or any form of
those terms, or in any way imply that the food or beverage container
will break down, fragment, biodegrade, or decompose in a landfill or
other environment.
   (c) A manufacturer or supplier, upon the request of a member of
the public, shall submit to that member, within 90 days of the
request, information and documentation demonstrating compliance with
this chapter, in a format that is easy to understand and
scientifically accurate.
  SEC. 7.  Section 42359.7 is added to the Public Resources Code, to
read:
   42359.7.  (a) If an ASTM standard specification specified in
subdivision (b) of Section 42359.5 is subsequently revised, the board
shall review the new ASTM standard specification as follows:
   (1) If the board determines that the new standard is more
stringent and more protective of the public health, safety, and the
environment, and is reflective of and consistent with state policies
and programs, the board may adopt the new standard.
   (2) If the board determines that the new standard is not as
stringent and does not protect the public health, safety, and the
environment, and is not reflective of and consistent with state
policies and programs, the board shall not adopt the new standard.
   (b) If the ASTM, or any other entity, develops a new standard
specification, or another applicable standard, for any of the terms
prohibited under subdivision (a) of Section 42359.6, the board may
review the new standard and, if the board determines that the new
standard for that prohibited term is more stringent and more
protective of the public health, safety, and the environment, and is
reflective of and consistent with state policies and programs, the
board may make a recommendation to the Legislature.
   (c) Compliance with a standard adopted pursuant to paragraph (1)
of subdivision (a) shall be deemed to be in compliance with this
chapter.