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California restricts ‘recyclable’ claims on food packaging
California has two new laws that restrict claims of recyclability in food packaging.
Under a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 5, a state agency must conduct a study by Jan. 1, 2024, to determine what can be called “recyclable” in California.
Another law prohibits claims of being “compostable” if the packaging has chemicals that would contaminate the compost.
The laws address the biggest complaints of recyclers about consumer goods companies putting the recyclable logo or chasing-arrows logo on containers that could not or hardly be recyclable, such as polymer-based packages.
However, there is a concern that the standard will exclude too many forms of packaging.
Another bill signed into law by Newsom that has profound effects on food packaging is banning the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) because of their resistance to breakdown.
The chemicals, sometimes used as coatings for paper and paperboard packaging due to their resistance to moisture and grease, have been linked by studies to cancer and other maladies.
The chemicals have also been used in non-stick pans and children’s toys and furniture.