New law targets milk crate theft in California

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 2289 into law. The bill is a solution to help California dairymen, milk processors and beverage distributors stem the tide in plastic milk crate and beverage container theft.

"We are very pleased that the Governor signed AB 2289.  It demonstrates how important plastic milk crates are to our business," said Amos DeGroot, a dairy processor in Downey, California and sponsor of the bill.  "The huge losses that our businesses have faced over the years due to theft of our plastic milk crates and beverage carriers are overwhelming and out-of-control. For example, DeGroot, has spent more than $1.62 million to replace stolen plastic milk crates during a 12-month period. 

AB 2289 is absolutely essential for him and other dairymen like him to help keep their operating costs down and remain profitable. "Now we have a solution and penalty that will ensure thieves think twice before they take our private property for re-sale to plastic recyclers," he added.

The new law will take effect on January 1, 2007. The new law:

  • Makes it a crime for an unauthorized person to possess more than five plastic merchandise shells, milk cases or milk crates.
  • Makes it illegal to obliterate the company owner's name on the milk cases and crate, this includes illegal shredding.
  • Requires those persons involved in the recycling, shredding or destruction process to obtain a copy of the bill of sale or other evidence of ownership.
  • Contains the following penalty: Recycling reprocessors caught shredding plastic milk crates/plastic carrying cases will be subject to prosecution on misdemeanor charges is the cumulative value is $400 or less.  If the value of property value exceeds $400 then the crime will be treated as a felony.

Rockview Farms press release




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