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2017 Legislative Update - New Waste Prevention Laws

October 15, 2017

The 2017/18 California legislative session has now adjourned and the Governor has signed the following bills into legislation.

AB 1219 (Eggman) - Food Donations – Expansion of Good Samaritan Law

This bill strengthens and expands a 1977 law that protects food donors from legal liability in order to encourage food donations. Currently many businesses, retailers, and restaurants are either not aware of laws which protect food donors or are confused with the current laws in place. The protection is expanded to persons and gleaners who donate food. Notably, the bill also requires health inspectors to promote donation and educate restaurants and grocery stores about these liability protections. This legislation was sponsored by Californians Against Waste, and StopWaste was an active supporter. 

SB 557 (Hernandez) - School Food Donations

This bill allows public school cafeterias to donate unopened prepackaged food, uncut produce like apples, and milk kept at appropriate temperature to food banks or charitable non-profits, and makes surplus food available to students during meal time through share tables in the cafeteria. This helps local communities suffering from food insecurity. This legislation was sponsored by the Los Angeles Unified School District; Oakland Unified School District and StopWaste were active supporters. 

AB 954 (Chiu) - Food Labeling

This bill requires the California Department of Public Health and California Department of Food and Agriculture to publish guidelines that encourage industry adoption of uniform date label standards, in an effort to reduce food waste. Misinterpretation of food date labels is a key factor leading to food waste in American households and supermarkets. This past February, the Grocery Manufacturing Association and Food Marketing Institute launched a voluntary labeling program to limit food labels to two: “BEST IF USED BY” for quality/freshness, and “USE BY” for safety/perishability. This legislation was sponsored by Californians Against Waste and StopWaste was an active supporter. 

AB 1158 (Chu) - Carpet Recycling 

This bill will increase carpet recycling by 50% in two years by requiring a carpet stewardship plan to achieve a 24% recycling rate for post consumer carpet by January 1, 2020; the bill would authorize CalRecycle to set future recycling benchmarks. This legislation was sponsored by the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) and is considered a Green California Priority Bill. 

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