“We spoke to the industry this week and we are committed now to accepting amendments in the Senate and continuing to work in the Senate to get this bill through to what it is now, which is say a phase-out of all plastic products in shipping and instead an aggressive source reduction bill that will work within timelines the industry can meet,” she said.
“We are committed to working with industry to make sure this is doable,” Friedman said. “We also don’t want broken items.”
The legislation would measure the reduction against the total weight and number of e-commerce plastic packaging used in 2023.
Friedman pointed to the explosion of online shopping, saying online shopping in the United States grew 44% between 2019 and 2021. She called online retailing “the low-hanging fruit of plastic.” .
“Now, with almost a third of the world’s population shopping online, the amount of plastic packaging generated is expected to more than double by 2026,” she said.
While environmental organizations such as Oceana support the bill and its source reduction provisions, plastics groups like the American Chemistry Council say it will hurt both industry and consumers.
The ACC said that rather than pass Friedman’s Bill AB-2026, the state should wait for the implementation of a Big Plastics Producer Liability Bill that the state passed. in late June, known as Senate Bill 54.
“Passing SB-54 into law precludes the need for AB-2026. SB-54, among other things, will inject millions in new funding into producers to improve the state’s recycling infrastructure, fix recycling rate requirements for plastic packaging and requiring the responsible producer responsibility organization to meet a 25% ‘source reduction’ requirement,” said Tim Shestek, Senior Director of State Affairs from the Western Region to the ACC.
“In addition, SB-54 will support the creation of more robust end-use markets for reclaimed materials, enabling the use of an ever-increasing amount of recycled materials in new packaging,” he said.
“Passing a different law specific to e-commerce packaging will hamper the effective implementation of SB-54, confuse e-commerce businesses about what rules to follow, and ultimately impair consumers’ ability to receive packages. in good order and in a timely manner,” Shestek said.
In her comments to the House, Friedman said she and other supporters have worked with different industry groups over the past year to convince them to drop their opposition and take a neutral stance on the legislation. She said those groups include organizations representing agricultural businesses, as well as the California Grocers Association and medical device manufacturers.
Plastic packaging like air cushions, bubble wrap, and mailing envelopes are made of a material designed to last forever, but are discarded after brief use. This makes them particularly problematic, and most plastic packaging ends up in landfills, incinerated or polluting the environment and harming wildlife.”