Back in August a bill passed the California Senate that would ban the use of 1 lb, single use propane tanks. While it seemed on its way to becoming law, the Governor of California has vetoed the bill leaving its future uncertain.
While the bill had many supporters, including municipalities and waste disposal companies, it did have one opposing entity, Worthington Industries. According to the website for Worthington Industries, they are “a leading U.S.-based cylinder manufacturer”.
Small, single use propane tanks are a staple of camp stoves when cooking away from home. Unfortunately, they often aren’t properly disposed of causing waste and a danger when not emptied, according to the bill. This wasn’t reason enough for the bill to pass into law though.
I acknowledge there are several challenges and costs faced by local governments and solid waste management authorities responsible for the disposal of single-use propane cylinders. However, an outright ban without a plan for collection and refill infrastructure could inhibit the success of building a circular system in California.
California has successfully implemented many reuse and recycling systems, from the Beverage Container Recycling Program to several extended producer responsibility programs. These market-based solutions both significantly reduce waste and create jobs by turning a challenging product into a resource. I encourage the Legislature and stakeholders to work on a similar approach for the collection and reuse of this product that accounts for manufacturer and retail responsibility.Governor Newsom