Recycling and Waste Reduction Policies
Disposable Food Service Ware and Polystyrene Foam Ban Model Ordinance
Jurisdictions in Sonoma County have implemented, or are considering adopting, an ordinance to ban the sale of certain polystyrene foam products and limit the use of non-recyclable or non-compostable disposable food ware.
Carryout Bags Ordinance (aka "Plastic Bag Ban")
This ordinance was passed in 2014 throughout Sonoma County, banning all single-use plastic bags and requiring stores to charge 10 cents for each paper bag provided. Customers should be encouraged to bring their own reusable bags.
Zero Waste Resolution
Jurisdictions in Sonoma County have passed, or are considering passing, this resolution which sets a goal of no material going to landfill by 2030.
AB 619 Reusable Containers and Multiuse Utensils (2019)
This law amends the Health and Safety Code to allow customers to bring their own containers for food from a restaurant or other food facility. Either an employee of the food facility or the customer may fill the container. There must be a contamination-free transfer process and all surfaces must be sanitized after each filling.
Temporary food facilities such as food trucks or tents may also provide reusable utensils and other items to customers as long as they are cleaned, rinsed, and sanitized after each use.
Per the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, food and beverage providers must create and document protocols for allowing reusables if they choose to allow these items to be used in their establishment.
AB 341 Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law (2011)
This bill's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring recycling in the commercial sector. Specifically subject to the law are businesses, non-profits, strip malls, government offices and schools that generate four (4) or more cubic yards of waste per week. Also subject to the law are multifamily complexes with five (5) units or more.
AB 3025 Polystyrene Loose-fill Packaging (2008)
This bill prohibits, after January 1, 2012, a wholesaler or manufacturer from selling, or offering to sell expanded polystyrene (EPS) loose-fill packaging material ("packaging peanuts") in California, unless it meets requirements to contain specified amounts of recycled material. Ultimately, the bill requires EPS loose-fill packaging to be comprised of 100 percent recycled material by January 1, 2017.
AB 2449 Plastic Bag Recycling (2007)
Requires most supermarkets and large retailers with pharmacies to take back and recycle plastic grocery bags. The bill also requires retailers to provide consumers with education about bag reuse. SB 1219 (2012) extended AB 2449, but unfortunately this plastic bag recycling requirement has sunset on January 1, 2020.
AB 2020 California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act aka "The Bottle Bill" (1987) and AB 3056 (2007)
AB 2020 took effect as litter prevention legislation. AB 3056 raised the redemption value of qualifying beverages to 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
A variety of policies promote or require EPR, which places the responsibility of a product's end of life directly on the manufacturer or producer of that product.