14-399.2. Certain plastic yoke and ring type holding devices prohibited.

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Degradable" means that within one year after being discarded, the yoke or ring type holding device is capable of becoming embrittled or decomposing by photodegradation, biodegradation, or chemo-degradation under average seasonal conditions into components other than heavy metals or other toxic substances.

(2) "Recyclable" means that the yoke or ring type holding device is capable of being collected and processed for reuse as a product or raw material.

(b) No person may sell or distribute for sale in this State any container connected to another by a yoke or ring type holding device constructed of plastic that is neither degradable nor recyclable. No person may sell or distribute for sale in this State any container connected to another by a yoke or ring type holding device constructed of plastic that is recyclable but that is not degradable unless such device does not have an orifice larger than one and three-fourths inches. The manufacturer of a degradable yoke or ring type holding device shall emboss or mark the device with a nationally recognized symbol indicating that the device is degradable. The manufacturer of a recyclable yoke or ring type holding device shall emboss or mark the device with a symbol of the type specified in G.S. 130A-309.10(e) indicating the plastic resin used to produce the device and that the device is recyclable. The manufacturer shall register the symbol with the Secretary of State with a sample of the device.

(c) Any person who sells or distributes for sale a yoke or ring type holding device in violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200.00). In lieu of a fine or any portion thereof or in addition to a fine, any violation of this section may also be punished by a term of community service.

(d) Other than a manufacturer required to use and register a symbol under subsection (b), a person may not be prosecuted under this section if, at the time of sale or distribution for sale, the yoke or holding device bears a symbol meeting the requirements of this section which has been registered with the Secretary of State. (1989, c. 371; 1991, c. 236, c. 621, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 268; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)