California to Expand Definition of ‘Beverage’ to Include Wine and Distilled Spirits: Impact on Industry and New Regulations

By Published On: April 17, 2023

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has announced a webinar on May 10, 2023, to discuss the expansion of California’s Beverage Container Recycling Program to include wine and distilled spirits. This comes after Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1013 (SB1013, Atkins, Chapter 610, Statutes of 2022) into law on September 27, 2022, effective January 1, 2023.

Since 1987, the Act has required beverage manufacturers and distributors to pay California Redemption Value (CRV) fees on certain types of beverages sold in California. The CRV system is intended to encourage the recycling of beverage containers and reduce litter in the state.

Effective January 1, 2024, the definition of beverage will be expanded to include all wine, distilled spirits, and wine/distilled spirit coolers (ready-to-drink mixed cocktails) with any percentage of alcohol by volume. Covered beverage containers for wine or distilled spirits will include products sold in box, bladder, pouch, or similar containers. The CRV rate for wine and distilled spirit beverages sold in these containers will be 25¢, regardless of container size. These beverages must be labeled with an authorized CRV message by July 1, 2025. CRV labeling is optional from January 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025.

Under the Act, if a company imports, manufactures, or distributes these products in California, the company must register with the Department to pay applicable CRV and/or processing fees.

CalRecycle’s webinar will explain the changes to the beverage definition as a result of the enactment of SB1013. The webinar will be held in two sessions, each limited to 1,000 attendees, and interested parties must register for the time they wish to attend. The first session will be at 10:00 a.m. and the second at 2:00 p.m. Interested parties can register for the webinar at the links provided in the notice.

The expansion of the Act to include wine and distilled spirits is expected to have a significant impact on beverage manufacturers and distributors in California. According to CalRecycle, adding wine and distilled spirits to the CRV system will drastically increase the number of containers subject to the CRV fee. This will likely result in increased revenue for the state’s recycling programs, which use CRV funds to support recycling efforts in California.

However, the expansion may also lead to increased costs for beverage manufacturers and distributors who will now be subject to the CRV fee on a larger number of containers. Additionally, manufacturers and distributors will need to ensure that their products are properly labeled with the authorized CRV message to comply with the new law.

Overall, the expansion of the Act to include wine and distilled spirits represents a significant change for the beverage industry in California. The upcoming webinar hosted by CalRecycle will provide an opportunity for interested parties to learn more about the new requirements and their potential impact on the industry.

About the Author: CWA Staff

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