The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) decided March 25 to implement a cooperative approach to encourage companies to increase plastics recycling rather than concentrating on enforcement actions. The state's rate fell to 23.2% in 1996 below the 25% level required by state law theoretically triggering possible enforcement actions against companies. Companies can avoid penalties of up to $150 if they use 25% recycled content in their materials can show 10% source reduction or make reusable containers. Manufacturers and users of food beverage and cosmetics packaging are exempt from the law although they remain part of the recycling rate calculations. According to Plastics News CIWMB Chairman Dan Pennington acknowledged that his agency needs to cooperate more with the industry through the American Plastics Council and instructed his staff to develop a report on ways to provide markets for recycled plastics.