Pennsylvania: IBWA Continues Push for Bills Streamlining Oversight of the Bottled Water Industry
IBWA recently held several virtual meetings with members of the Pennsylvania legislature to promote passage of HB 1971 and 1972, bills that would move regulatory oversight of bottled water products to the state’s Department of Agriculture (PA DOA), the agency with regulatory oversight of food products.  Regulatory oversight currently falls within the Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) which monitors public water systems. While these bills would shift product oversight from the PA DEP to the PA DOA, PA DEP would retain oversight of water sources. Currently, PA DEP regulates bottled water products in half-gallon or larger containers, while the PA DOA oversees products smaller than one half-gallon. Click HERE for more information on this issue.

California: First in the Nation Recycled Plastic Use Mandates Coming for Beverage Manufacturers
As the California state legislature wrapped up its 2020 session, both chambers approved a bill that mandates the use of recycled material for plastic beverage containers. Similar to legislation that was approved in 2019 but vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom (D), AB 793 incorporates many changes requested by CalRecycle, the government agency that will implement the mandate requirements, in an effort to help ensure passage this year. The final measure requires manufacturers of plastic beverage containers that are sold in California and are part of the state’s deposit program (California Redemption Value or CRV) to use a minimum of 15 percent recycled content starting in 2022. After that, the mandate increases to 25 percent by 2025 and up to 50 percent by 2030.

In addition, two plastic waste measures failed to pass in the final days of the CA legislative session. This being said, it is expected that the language in the bills will be a part of a 2022 ballot initiative, putting the power in the hands of California voters regarding if the state will take on more aggressive plastic reduction programs.

Click HERE for more information on both of these issues.

IBWA Encourages the Prioritization of Vaccines for Workers in the Food and Beverage Industry
IBWA co-signed a Food and Beverage Issue Alliance (FBIA) letter sent to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) encouraging them to prioritize vaccines for those in critical infrastructure industries, and specifically food and beverage production. In its draft framework on recommendations for vaccine distribution, NASEM already prioritizes workers in agriculture and the food and beverage industry. NASEM recommends that those in the medical fields first receive vaccinations (Phase 1), then those in other critical infrastructure industries in Phases 2 and 3. The draft report includes in Phase 2 workers in the U.S. food supply system who plant, harvest and package crops; slaughter and process meat; deliver food to stores and stock shelves and staff checkout lines, as well as workers in warehouse and fulfillment centers. However, workers in factories or production facilities are erroneously included in Phase 3. Those in food and beverage manufacturing facilities face on-the-job exposure, are a critical link in the food supply chain, and remain a vital part of the U.S. economy. In this letter, IBWA along with other FBIA members requested that NASEM reconsider this approach and include workers in food manufacturing in Phase 2 allocation of the vaccine. Click HERE to read the letter.

As a member of BIPAC, IBWA is happy to share “The Rundown” Blog to its members to use as a resource on polls and expert commentary regarding the upcoming elections. Click HERE to read election new from political experts Jim Ellis and Terri Bogart, BIPAC’s crack team of political operatives.

For more information on IBWA advocacy issues, please contact Cory Martin, IBWA Vice President of Government Relations, at (703) 647-4618 or [email protected], or JP Toner, IBWA Director of Government Relations, at (703) 647-4616 or [email protected].

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