Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.

  • CalRecycle Climate Investments Featured in Annual Report

    The numbers are in! California’s world-leading Cap-and-Trade program to combat climate change is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening local economies, and improving public health and the environment across the state, especially in disadvantaged and low-income communities.

    The California Air Resources Board and the California Department of Finance just released the latest annual report tracking the progress of California Climate Investments. Among the report’s highlights:

    • More than $720 million in new funding for 2017 went to projects across all of California’s 58 counties.
    • Since 2014, $6.1 billion has been appropriated to 17 state agencies for projects to reduce GHG emissions.
    • Projects funded to date are expected to reduce GHG emissions by more than 23 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), roughly the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off the road for a year.

    In 2017, CalRecycle awarded a total of $38 million in California Climate Investments through its Organics GrantFood Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant, and Recycled Fiber, Plastic, and Glass Grant Programs.

    CalRecycle’s California Climate Investments in the waste and recycling sector continue to be among the most cost-effective of all climate reduction strategies, with grants ranging from $9 to $15 per metric ton of CO2e reduced.

    The report features profiles of two CalRecycle grant recipients that highlight the impact these investments are having on individuals and communities. 



    Command Packaging Recycled Plastic Manufacturing Upgrade Project, LA County

    Move over Farm-to-Fork! There is a new sustainability movement emerging in California that is reducing waste, cutting GHG emissions, and providing access to new green jobs in communities across the State. You can see it on display at Command Packaging’s manufacturing facility south of downtown Los Angeles in Vernon. Think of it as “Ag-to-Bag.”



    CR&R, Inc. Anaerobic Digestion Expansion Project, Riverside County

    The second phase of a massive $100 million organic waste recycling infrastructure project is now online in Riverside County. Southern California waste management and recycling company CR&R just doubled capacity to transform the region’s food and green waste into biofuel.

    These success stories and others, as well as information on other climate investments and the program’s goals and targets, can be read online in the California Climate Investments 2018 Annual Report.

    Posted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Mar 26, 2018

  • Product Packaging Reform Vital to 75 Percent Recycling and Less Reliance on Export Markets

    CalRecycle estimates that about 25 percent of our waste stream is discarded product packaging. To reduce the amount of waste we generate and subsequently need to recycle or landfill, reducing product packaging and increasing its recyclability are essential. In fact, it is unlikely we will meet the state’s goal to reduce or recycle 75 percent of our waste if we do not tackle product packaging head on.  


    Although individual recycling efforts are vital, consumers have little control over the recyclability or volume of packaging, so change within the manufacturing industry is necessary in order to see a significant impact on this part of the waste stream. Manufacturers use packaging to ensure the safe transport and extend the shelf life of their products. However, even casual observers might sometimes conclude product packaging can be excessive. Most of us have bought a small, two-inch flash drive wrapped in 6 x 8 inch or larger hard plastic package designed to be hung directly on a retail hook. Or consider the gift card rack at large warehouse stores—a small card is often swallowed within a 12 x 18 inch plastic package. Packaging has evolved with the way products are marketed and sold, so manufacturers are necessarily vital in solutions that build waste reduction and recyclability into their packaging designs. 

    A friend of mine recently posted an

    Instagram story

    as she opened a box of cosmetics she ordered from a trendy company marketed toward millennials. The product’s packaging aims to give the consumer a special experience while opening their items. But there’s a downside to that. The 12 x 12 x 5 inch shipping box my friend received contained an 11 x 11 x 4 inch, fully branded, beautiful, and glossy hard-shell gift box. Within that box, she found her order form, a catalog, a sheet of pretty logo stickers, and a 6 x 4 inch pink mesh bag with her products inside. The pink mesh bag contained three small products: a lipstick, a mascara tube, and a lip gloss. Some online retailers rely upon fancy packaging to communicate the quality of their products. Although the packaging is visually impressive, my friend was faced with recycling and disposing of an armful of packaging for a handful of products. She’s gathered a few friends together to draft a letter to the company to voice her concern over how they market and package their products.

    Recent changes to China’s scrap import policies will also impact California’s recycling industry and the ability to achieve our recycling goals. In 2016, 62 percent of the 15 million tons of recyclable exports that were shipped from California were sent to China. However, China has recently implemented a new campaign called National Sword and restricted the import of recyclables. Minimizing our own packaging waste and increasing its recyclability will help reduce our dependence on export markets for managing our discards. CalRecycle is proposing a statewide framework that addresses pre- and post-consumer life of packaging, identifies priority packaging recycling throughout the state, and factors in the overall environmental impact of packaging on our state (like waterway and marine debris).

    CalRecycle held a packaging reform workshop in October 2017 to hear from stakeholders and to identify and explore opportunities related to packaging as one part of a comprehensive set of strategies to reach the statewide 75 percent goal. CalRecycle is aiming to finalize the packaging policy model in the coming weeks.

    Click here to read more about CalRecycle’s overall efforts to manage product packaging.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Jan 29, 2018