With Governor Jerry Brown’s signature 14 October on AB 1158, California has adopted groundbreaking extended producer responsibility (EPR) for carpet.
The legislation requires carpet manufacturers to submit a carpet stewardship plan that meets specified requirements and increase the rate of carpet recycling to 24% by 1 January 2020. The legislation also aims to end consumer subsidization of carpet incineration in municipal incinerators and cement kilns, incentivize production of more recyclable carpets, and ensure proper training for carpet installers.
Stewardship plans must include quantifiable 5-year goals and annual goals subject to review by CalRecycle. Updates to the stewardship plans must also address recommendations by an advisory committee to be appointed.
In California for 2016, over 257 million pounds (over 116,500 tonnes) of carpets were disposed of to landfills (about 2% of total disposed), while over 20 million pounds (over 9,000 tonnes) were disposed of in incinerators. Carpets are comprised of 99% plastic, derived from fossil fuels. Carpet production is estimated to grow 4.5% annually.