October 1, 2022

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Extra Propane, Extra Issues: California Prone to Go Ban on Single-Use Fuel Cans

California campers may have to search out new choices for cooking if the state passes a ban on single-use fuel canisters this month.

The California State Meeting authorised a ban on single-use propane fuel canisters this week. Gov. Gavin Newsom will seemingly signal the invoice into legislation earlier than the top of the month, in response to information studies.

Whereas a longtime mainstay for campers, single-use fuel canisters have triggered growing issues for park officers. They’re difficult to eliminate, are harmful, and are discarded in giant numbers.

That would change with the passage of Senate Invoice 1256. It might require producers of single-use propane canisters to pursue refillable choices. If Newsom indicators the invoice, it can set off a 5-year interval for retailers and producers to part out single-use cylinders by January 2028.

“These 1-pound propane cylinders are sometimes among the many litter present in our parks and seashores, extremely costly for native governments to correctly deal with and harmful for employees in our hazardous waste packages,” mentioned California State Sen. Bob Wieckowski earlier this month. Wieckowski launched S.B. 1256.

Greater than 4 million single-use propane tanks are bought yearly in California, in response to the California Product Stewardship Council. But the group mentioned that just one million are recycled via the Family Hazardous Waste packages provided by native governments.

The invoice has a number of caveats, like an exception for isobutane — the go-to selection for a lot of backpackers. It additionally exempts the “tall boy” propane canisters used within the building trade and the emergency provides of presidency businesses.

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Man lighting a conveyable propane range; (picture/Shutterstock)

An Rising Challenge for Parks

Yosemite Nationwide Park stopped promoting single-use propane cans 2 years in the past. As hazardous waste, the canisters don’t make it straightforward for correct disposal. In Yosemite, park workers consistently discover them as litter. Then volunteers depend and categorize the canisters earlier than shredding them in a particular machine explicitly bought for that function.

The park dealt with 24,000 of the canisters final 12 months, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“We may have a whole lot if not 1000’s of them within the park,” Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman informed the newspaper.

As an alternative of the inexperienced cylinders from Coleman or Bernzomatic, the park now sells refillable canisters from Manteca firm Little Kamper. Yosemite additionally affords an trade program, permitting campers to commerce outdated cans for recent ones.

Whereas California does provide hazardous waste amenities for correct disposal, they’re usually not accessible, Sen. Wieckowski’s workplace mentioned. It’s additionally tough to inform if a propane cylinder is empty, that means many cans with fuel find yourself within the trash, creating a security hazard.

When the cans are taken to a Materials Restoration Facility, an worker should puncture the cans with particular tools to make sure they’re empty and secure for processing.

If handed, the brand new legislation would institute fines for offenders. Those that violate the invoice following the ban date will obtain $500 per day penalties for first offenses, $1,000 per day fines for second offenses, and $2,000 per day fines for all subsequent violations.

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