2009 California Public Resources Code - Section 42359-42359.8 :: Chapter 5.8. Plastic Food And Beverage Containers
42359. The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public policy of the state that environmental marketing claims, whether explicit or implied, should be substantiated by competent and reliable evidence to prevent deceiving or misleading consumers about the environmental impact of compostable plastic food or beverage containers. For consumers to have accurate and useful information about the environmental impact of compostable plastic food or beverage containers, environmental marketing claims should adhere to uniform and recognized standards, including those standard specifications established by the American Society for Testing and Materials. 42359.5. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply: (a) "ASTM" means the American Society for Testing and Materials. (b) "ASTM standard specification" means one of the following: (1) The ASTM Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics D6400, as published in September 2004, except as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 42359.7. (2) The ASTM Standard Specification for Non-Floating Biodegradable Plastics in the Marine Environment D7081, as published in August 2005, except as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 42359.7. (3) 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 42359.7. (c) "Food or beverage container" means a product that contains food or drink items, or utensils, for retail sale and is composed of one or more of the following: (1) Plastic. (2) Paper with plastic coatings. (3) Paper with plastic modifiers. (4) Molded fiber. (d) "Manufacturer" means a person, firm, association, partnership, or corporation that produces a food or beverage container. (e) "Supplier" means a person who does one or more of the following: (1) Sells, offers for sale, or offers for promotional purposes, a food or beverage container that is used by a person to contain a product. (2) Takes title to a food or beverage container produced either domestically or in a foreign country, that is purchased for resale or promotional purposes. 42359.6. (a) (1) A person shall not sell a food or beverage container in this state that is labeled with the term "compostable" or "marine degradable," unless, at the time of sale, the food or beverage container meets the applicable ASTM standard specification, as specified in subdivision (b) of Section 42359.5. (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). (b) Except as provided in subdivision (a), a person shall not sell a food or beverage container 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 food or beverage container 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. 42359.7. (a) If an ASTM standard specification specified in subdivision (b) of Section 42359.5 is subsequently revised, the board shall review the new ASTM standard specification as follows: (1) If the board determines that the new standard is more stringent and more protective of the public health, safety, and the environment, and is reflective of and consistent with state policies and programs, the board may adopt the new standard. (2) If the board determines that the new standard is not as stringent and does not protect the public health, safety, and the environment, and is not reflective of and consistent with state policies and programs, the board shall not adopt the new standard. (b) If the ASTM, or any other entity, develops a new standard specification, or another applicable standard, for any of the terms prohibited under subdivision (a) of Section 42359.6, the board may review the new standard and, if the board determines that the new standard for that prohibited term is more stringent and more protective of the public health, safety, and the environment, and is reflective of and consistent with state policies and programs, the board may make a recommendation to the Legislature. (c) Compliance with a standard adopted pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall be deemed to be in compliance with this chapter. 42359.8. (a) A city, a county, or the state may impose civil liability in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500) for the first violation of this chapter, one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the second violation, and two thousand dollars ($2,000) for the third and any subsequent violation. (b) Any civil penalties collected pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be paid to the office of the city attorney, city prosecutor, district attorney, or Attorney General, whichever office brought the action. The penalties collected pursuant to this section by the Attorney General may be expended by the Attorney General, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to enforce this chapter. (c) The remedies provided by this section are not exclusive and are in addition to the remedies that may be available pursuant to Sections 17200 to 17210, inclusive, of the Business and Professions Code. (d) Any costs incurred by a state agency in carrying out this chapter shall be recoverable by the Attorney General, upon the request of the state agency, from the liable person or persons.
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