BILL NUMBER: SB 509 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Senator Hueso FEBRUARY 26, 2015 An act to amend Sections 42356 and 42357 of the Public Resources Code, relating to solid waste. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST 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: SECTION 1. Section 42356 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read: 42356. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply: (a) "ASTM" means ASTM International, which was formerly known as 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. (C) 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 42356.1. (2) "ASTM standard specification" does not include an ASTM Standard Guide, a Standard Practice, or a Standard Test Method. (c) "Department" means the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. (d) "Manufacturer" means a person, firm, association, partnership, or corporation that produces a plastic product. (e) "OK home compost" means conformity with the existing Vincotte certification "OK Compost HOME certification" which, as of January 1, 2011, uses European Norm 13432 standard adapted to low-temperature composting in accordance with the Vincotte program "OK 2-Home Compostability of Products." (f) "Plastic product" means a product made of plastic, whether alone or in combination with other material, including, but not limited to, paperboard. A plastic product includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: (1) (A) A consumer product. (B) For purposes of this paragraph, "consumer product" means a product or part of a product that is used, bought, or leased for use by a person for any purpose. (2) A package or a packaging component. (3) A bag, sack, wrap, or other thin plastic sheet film product. (4) A food or beverage container or a container component, including, but not limited to, a straw, lid, or utensil. (g) "Supplier" means a person who does one or more of the following: (1) Sells, offers for sale, or offers for promotional purposes, a plastic product that is used. (2) Takes title to a plastic product, produced either domestically or in a foreign country, that is purchased for resale or promotional purposes. (h) "Vincotte certification" means a certification of a European norm (EN) standard adopted by the Belgian-accredited inspection and certification organization Vincotte. SEC. 2. Section 42357 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read: 42357. (a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a person shall not sell a plastic product in this state that is labeled with the term "compostable," "home compostable," or "marine degradable" unless, at the time of sale, the plastic product meets the applicable ASTM standard specification, as specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section
4235642356, or the Vincotte OK Compost HOME certification, as provided in paragraph (4). (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). (3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a person may sell a plastic product in this state that is labeled with a qualified claim for a term specified in paragraph (1), if the plastic product meets the relevant standard adopted by the department pursuant to Section 42356.2. (4) (A) A plastic product shall not be labeled with the term "home compostable" unless the manufacturer of that plastic product holds a Vincotte OK Compost HOME certificate of conformity with regard to that product, except as provided in subparagraph (B) or (C). (B) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if theASTM adopts a standard specification for the term "home compostable" on or before January 1, 2016, and the department determines that the ASTM standard specification is at least equal to, or more stringent than, the OK Compost HOME certification, a plastic product labeled with the term "home compostable" shall meet that ASTM standard specification. The department may also take the actions specified in Section 42356.1 with regard to an ASTM standard for home compostability. (C) If the department adopts a standard pursuant to Section 42356.2, a plastic product labeled with the term "home compostable" shall meet that standard and not the standard specified in subparagraph (A) or (B). (b) Except as provided in subdivision (a),(a) or (e), a person shall not sell a plastic product 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 plastic product 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. (d) A product that is in compliance with this chapter shall not, solely as a result of that compliance, be deemed to be in compliance with any other applicable marketing requirement or guideline established under state law or by the Federal Trade Commission. (e) (1) If ASTM adopts a standard for Work Item ASTM WK29802, New Specification for Aerobically Biodegradable Plastics in Soil Environment in the Temperate Zone, the director may adopt that ASTM standard specification. (2) A person may sell commercial agricultural mulch film labeled with the term "soil biodegradable" only if it meets an ASTM standard specification that the director has adopted pursuant to paragraph (1). (3) For purposes of this subdivision, "commercial agricultural mulch film" means film plastic that is used as a technical tool in commercial farming applications.