Release: Senator Kamlager’s Legislation to Return to Reusable Bottles, AB 962, Is Signed into Law

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today,  Senator Sydney Kamlager’s legislation, AB 962: Reusable Beverage Bottles, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. Now, rather than bottles being crushed for recycling, the bottles can be preserved to be washed and refilled by beverage producers --  simultaneously creating jobs and reducing waste.

Reusable glass bottles have a 70% lower carbon footprint than certain types of single-use plastic bottles, and examples of effective reusable glass bottles systems exist around the world. Additionally, it’s estimated reusable bottles go through 15-20 refills on average.

“To move towards a more sustainable, circular economy--we need to look to the past. And that means returning back to a model where reusable glass was a primary form of packaging,” said Senator Kamlager. “I’m thrilled to see Governor Newsom sign AB 962 into law, which will help pave the way for reusable beverage bottle systems in California and put us on a path towards a greener economy.”

AB 962 will do two things: allow returnable glass bottles to flow through the CalRecycle Beverage Container Recycling Program, and ensure recycling centers and processors receive the same payment for handling reusable glass beverage containers as they do recycling single-use glass bottles. 

In addition to requiring 93% less energy and 47-82% less water to process, returning to  a reusable bottle method will also provide job ample opportunities. Studies show reuse creates as much as 30 times more jobs than landfills

AB 962, which received widespread support in the Legislature, was cosponsored by Californians Against Waste and Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition. 

“By signing AB 962 into law, Governor Newsom has brought California closer to a sustainable reuse economy,” said Amy Gilson, Policy Manager, Californians Against Waste. “This bill evens the playing field for businesses recreating refillable glass bottles systems as an alternative to single-use plastic bottles. Californians Against Waste was proud to co-sponsor this legislation and commends Senator Kamlager for moving California up the waste hierarchy from recycle to reduce and reuse!”       

“The Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition is thrilled that Governor Newsom signed AB 962 into law, highlighting the REDUCE and REUSE in ‘reduce, reuse, recycle!’” said Genevieve Abedon on behalf of Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition. “We are proud to have co-sponsored this important measure, paving the way for reusable beverage bottle systems to make a comeback in California while reducing waste, emissions, and even water usage depending on the number of reuses. Legislation such as AB 962 reduces waste upstream before it’s created. This is a critical part of the solution to the growing waste crisis, and is by far the most efficient and cost-effective way to protect resources and communities and help California reach its waste diversion and climate goals.”

“AB 962 delivers landmark legislation to all Californians,” said Caren McNamara, Founder/CEO of Conscious Container, prominent supporter of the bill. “This bill enables reusable/refillable glass beverage containers to flow through our deposit redemption system for washing and refilling, directly reducing the carbon and waste impact of every glass, plastic and aluminum single-use beverage container sold in the State of California. This bill positively impacts our beverage producers, consumers, local jobs and our goals to reduce CO emissions.”

Having been signed into law, CalRecyle will work with stakeholders to develop regulations that support the policy of AB 962.

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Senate District 30 ranges from Century City to South Los Angeles and takes in Culver City, Cheviot Hills, Crenshaw District, USC, downtown L.A. and a portion of Inglewood.