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If you’ve ever spent much time cooking while camping, you’ve likely used the little propane tanks that are single use. I know I’ve gone through plenty of Coleman propane tanks in my day to power my Coleman camp stove. Refillable alternatives are out there and they’re closer to being required in California as the state Assembly approved a bill to transition away from single use 1 lb propane tanks.
The bill by State Senator Bob Wieckowski is expected to pass the Senate and go to the Governer for his signature.
These 1-pound propane cylinders are often among the litter found in our parks and beaches, highly expensive for local governments to properly handle and dangerous for workers in our hazardous waste programs. Putting in a five-year transition period gives the industry plenty of time to create a safe, refillable product, like it has with larger-sized cylinders. It is the environmentally responsible approach to take and will take a big burden off of our local governments.State Senator Bob Wieckowski
According to information from the Senator’s website, it is estimated that more than 4 million single use propane tanks are sold annually in California, with only 1 million being recycled. With the difficulty in determining if the propane tanks are empty, they pose a safety hazard when improperly disposed of. Beyond the waste and safety, an analysis found that local governments are spending around $3 million per year on disposal.
Yosemite has already moved away from the single use, small propane tanks by only selling refillable versions in the park. They also offer an exchange program if you have an empty, refillable 1 lb Flameking tank.
Refillable 1lb propane tanks can be found on Amazon with a kit to fill them in your backyard. You can use a 20 lb propane tank, commonly used for gas grills, to fill the smaller tanks.