- California SB-707, the Responsible Textile Recovery Act of 2023, was pulled from a hearing on Monday, making it unlikely to be heard in this legislative session.
- The bill would require apparel producers to be responsible for the collection and recycling of their products by establishing an Extended Producer Responsibility program for apparel, textiles, or textile articles.
- The bill was pulled after its author and sponsor reached an agreement with an opposition group to negotiate its language, according to one of the bill’s sponsors, and could be converted into a two-year bill for consideration again in next year’s session.
Although it’s a California bill, this legislation would impact any fashion company that makes or sells apparel in the state. It applies to footwear, swimwear, undergarments and handbags, among other products that aren’t suitable for reuse or resale. California already has a similar law, the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, which governs the collection and recycling of certain other products, including mattresses, pharmaceuticals and sharps waste.
Joanne Brasch of the California Product Stewardship Council, an organization which sponsored the bill, said in an email to Fashion Dive that CPSC had always considered a two-year option, because EPR bills can be complicated.
“But SB 707 has really tight language, engaged stakeholders, growing coalition, and bi-partisan support, so we didn’t want to slow down the wonderful momentum coming from the wide range [of] industry support,” Brasch said. “…The unfortunate thing about delaying the passage by one year, is it delays the program for 6 years since EPR has a slow regulatory process compared to other waste management programs.”
The bill was first introduced in February by Senators Josh Newman, Nancy Skinner and Scott Wiener.
Brasch said Newman decided to pull the bill after reaching an agreement with opposition groups to negotiate the bill’s language during the legislature’s off season.
“Our goal is to start 2024 with as many of them in support as possible, but we needed agreement that they were actually going to negotiate and not just ‘kick the can down the road’ with delay tactics,” Brasch said. “Most are in support of the EPR as a concept and had minimal questions on the bill… Senator Newman and CPSC have to balance requested amendments that sometimes conflict, so we try our best to make decisions in the best interest of the public and other impacted communities.”
Californians disposed of nearly 1.2 million metric tons of textiles in 2018, according to CalRecylce’s 2020 report on solid waste, which was referenced in the bill’s proposal.