Senate BillNo. 509

Introduced by Senator Hueso

February 26, 2015

An act to amend Sections 42356 and 42357 of the Public Resources Code, relating to solid waste.


SB 509, as introduced, Hueso. Plastic products: labeling.

Existing law prohibits the sale of a plastic product labeled as “compostable,” “home compostable,” or “marine degradable” unless it meets a certain specification, certification, or standard and prohibits the sale of a plastic product that is labeled as “biodegradable,” “degradable,” “decomposable,” or as otherwise specified. The term “plastic product” is defined for purposes of these prohibitions.

This bill would authorize the labeling of commercial agricultural mulch film, as defined, sold in the state as “soil biodegradable” if it meets a specified standard for biodegradability of plastics adopted by ASTM International and that standard is also adopted by the Director of Resources Recycling and Recovery. The bill also would make nonsubstantive changes relating to the definition of ASTM International.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P1    1


Section 42356 of the Public Resources Code is
2amended to read:



For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions

P2    1(a) “ASTM” meansbegin insert ASTM International, which was formerly
2knownend insert
begin insert asend insert the American Society for Testing and Materials.

3(b) (1) “ASTM standard specification” means one of the

5(A) The ASTM Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics
6D6400, as published in September 2004, except as provided in
7subdivision (c) of Section 42356.1.

8(B) The ASTM Standard Specification for Non-Floating
9Biodegradable Plastics in the Marine Environment D7081, as
10published in August 2005, except as provided in subdivision (c)
11of Section 42356.1.

12(C) The ASTM Standard Specification for Biodegradable
13Plastics Used as Coatings on Paper and Other Compostable
14Substrates D6868, as published in August 2003, except as specified
15in subdivision (c) of Section 42356.1.

16(2) “ASTM standard specification” does not include an ASTM
17Standard Guide, a Standard Practice, or a Standard Test Method.

18(c) “Department” means the Department of Resources Recycling
19and Recovery.

20(d) “Manufacturer” means a person, firm, association,
21partnership, or corporation that produces a plastic product.

22(e) “OK home compost” means conformity with the existing
23Vincotte certification “OK Compost HOME certification” which,
24as of January 1, 2011, uses European Norm 13432 standard adapted
25to low-temperature composting in accordance with the Vincotte
26program “OK 2-Home Compostability of Products.”

27(f) “Plastic product” means a product made of plastic, whether
28alone or in combination with other material, including, but not
29limited to, paperboard. A plastic product includes, but is not limited
30to, any of the following:

31(1) (A) A consumer product.

32(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “consumer product” means
33a product or part of a product that is used, bought, or leased for
34use by a person for any purpose.

35(2) A package or a packaging component.

36(3) A bag, sack, wrap, or other thin plastic sheet film product.

37(4) A food or beverage container or a container component,
38including, but not limited to, a straw, lid, or utensil.

39(g) “Supplier” means a person who does one or more of the

P3    1(1) Sells, offers for sale, or offers for promotional purposes, a
2plastic product that is used.

3(2) Takes title to a plastic product, produced either domestically
4or in a foreign country, that is purchased for resale or promotional

6(h) “Vincotte certification” means a certification of a European
7norm (EN) standard adopted by the Belgian-accredited inspection
8and certification organization Vincotte.


SEC. 2.  

Section 42357 of the Public Resources Code is
10amended to read:



(a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a person
12shall not sell a plastic product in this state that is labeled with the
13term “compostable,” “home compostable,” or “marine degradable”
14unless, at the time of sale, the plastic product meets the applicable
15ASTM standard specification, as specified in paragraph (1) of
16subdivision (b) of Sectionbegin delete 42356end deletebegin insert 42356,end insert or the Vincotte OK
17Compost HOME certification, as provided in paragraph (4).

18(2) Compliance with only a section or a portion of a section of
19an applicable ASTM standard specification does not constitute
20compliance with paragraph (1).

21(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a person may sell a plastic
22product in this state that is labeled with a qualified claim for a term
23specified in paragraph (1), if the plastic product meets the relevant
24standard adopted by the department pursuant to Section 42356.2.

25(4) (A) A plastic product shall not be labeled with the term
26“home compostable” unless the manufacturer of that plastic product
27holds a Vincotte OK Compost HOME certificate of conformity
28with regard to that product, except as provided in subparagraph
29(B) or (C).

30(B) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), ifbegin delete theend delete ASTM adopts a
31standard specification for the term “home compostable” on or
32before January 1, 2016, and the department determines that the
33ASTM standard specification is at least equal to, or more stringent
34than, the OK Compost HOME certification, a plastic product
35labeled with the term “home compostable” shall meet that ASTM
36standard specification. The department may also take the actions
37specified in Section 42356.1 with regard to an ASTM standard for
38home compostability.

39(C) If the department adopts a standard pursuant to Section
4042356.2, a plastic product labeled with the term “home
P4    1compostable” shall meet that standard and not the standard
2specified in subparagraph (A) or (B).

3(b) Except as provided in subdivisionbegin delete (a),end deletebegin insert (a) or (e),end insert a person
4shall not sell a plastic product in this state that is labeled with the
5term “biodegradable,” “degradable,” or “decomposable,” or any
6form of those terms, or in any way imply that the plastic product
7will break down, fragment, biodegrade, or decompose in a landfill
8or other environment.

9(c) A manufacturer or supplier, upon the request of a member
10of the public, shall submit to that member, within 90 days of the
11request, information and documentation demonstrating compliance
12with this chapter, in a format that is easy to understand and
13scientifically accurate.

14(d) A product that is in compliance with this chapter shall not,
15solely as a result of that compliance, be deemed to be in compliance
16with any other applicable marketing requirement or guideline
17established under state law or by the Federal Trade Commission.

begin insert

18(e) (1) If ASTM adopts a standard for Work Item ASTM
19WK29802, New Specification for Aerobically Biodegradable
20Plastics in Soil Environment in the Temperate Zone, the director
21may adopt that ASTM standard specification.

end insert
begin insert

22(2) A person may sell commercial agricultural mulch film
23labeled with the term “soil biodegradable” only if it meets an
24ASTM standard specification that the director has adopted
25pursuant to paragraph (1).

end insert
begin insert

26(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “commercial agricultural
27mulch film” means film plastic that is used as a technical tool in
28commercial farming applications.

end insert