California’s New Plastic Recycling Laws

recycling symbol

Ever see that triangular, chasing arrows symbol on a plastic container and wonder what exactly does it mean? Of course, it must have something to do with recycling. But what do those numbers mean in the middle of the triangle? If you’re like most people you’re not sure, so you toss the empty container in the recycle bin, hoping that is the right place for it.

Those numbers in the middle of the chasing-arrows triangle refer to the type of plastic resin that was used to make the container. The problem is, recycling companies don’t recycle all types of resin. As a result, it’s more difficult for recyclers to sort the plastic coming into their facilities. And it’s misleading to the consumer. California has enacted a new law, SB343, that is designed to end this confusion.

The law tasks a state agency, CalRecycle, with conducting a study to determine which resins are most commonly recycled in the state. The list is due by January 1, 2024. Then, companies that sell their plastic-packaged products in California, and wish to include the recycling symbol on them, must ensure they are made from resins that are on the CalRecycle list. This should give consumers confidence that the products they buy are indeed recyclable.

Is your packaging made from plastic? Contact us for more information and for help making changes to your packaging in anticipation of this new law.

Bentley Brands is a brand communications firm that helps clients in the natural products industry grow their brands through unique, effective and highly personalized services.

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