TRSA Members Speak Out on Issues with CA Legislators
Thirty-two representatives of the linen, uniform and facility services industry recently participated in TRSA’s California Legislative Conference to address a series of issues likely to impact the industry – most importantly a proposed extended producer responsibility (EPR) for textiles. The EPR, similar to a bill signed into law last year in California pertaining to single-use plastics, would create significant fee obligations and make manufacturers and other businesses such as laundries responsible for collecting used textiles for recycling. Other issues included per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), microplastics and last-mile delivery zero-emissions regulations.
The California Legislative Conference kicked off with an orientation session and a series of speakers on Feb. 1, including Assembly Member Greg Wallis (R-CA 47th District) and an interactive session with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) representatives responsible for implementing the last-mile delivery zero-emissions regulation.
On Feb. 2, participants in small groups of five or six people, visited with 27 legislative offices. They educated these lawmakers on the sustainability benefits of commercial laundering and described the essential services offered by TRSA members. In addition, participants highlighted the positive impact of the industry employing more than 17,000 individuals statewide.
“The California Legislative Conference was a great experience to not only represent our industry in a positive light to public officials but also a great chance to network with other industry leaders that are interested in paying it forward to ensure that the industry is healthy for this and future generations,” said Prudential Overall Supply President Chris Welch. “I am happy to know that RJ (Cervantes) and Kevin (Schwalb) are representing us at such a high level and it was a good feeling to be able to participate in the crafting of legislative language instead of just being a potential victim of it.”
TRSA is hosting a series of state Legislative Conferences this year in California, Kentucky, Wisconsin and New York (see www.trsa.org/events/ for details). Each of these programs are designed to proactively address issues ranging from the EPR to tax reform and PFAS, highlighting the industry’s history of ongoing cooperation with government agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Legislators want to speak with industry representatives, especially those working in their districts,” said TRSA Vice President of Government Relations Kevin Schwalb. “Educating legislators and their staffs proactively demonstrates our industry’s commitment to work collaboratively to protect the environment and our industry’s ability to continue our sustainable laundering of hygienically clean reusable linens, uniforms and other reusable textiles.”
Participants in the California Legislative Conference included representatives from Alsco Uniforms, Aramark Uniform Services, California Textiles, Cintas, Complete Linen, Ecolab, Kemco Systems, Lace House Linen Supply, Mission Linen, Norchem, Nu West Linens, Prudential Overall Supply, Republic Master Chefs, Sacramento Laundry Co. and Shasta Linen Supply.