Washington state is considering two legislative measures to better manage plastic packaging waste. The first legislation, HB 1204, addresses plastic packaging pollution and recycling, and the second legislation, HB 1795, would eliminate the state’s 50 percent recycling goal and ban certain materials from being recycled in residential programs.
Under HB 1204, which aims to encourage manufacturers to design packaging that is more recyclable, producers of plastic packaging would be required to participate in a “stewardship organization” that would finance and oversee end-of-life management.
Under 1795, which ultimately eliminates the local government’s control over materials that can be collected for recycling, existing recycling programs, services and contracts would need to remove banned materials from recycling programs.
PlasticsToday has more information:
China’s decision to restrict imports of plastic packaging waste for recycling—the National Sword policy—has created a conundrum for U.S. recyclers. While it has strengthened demand for recycling services, there doesn’t appear to be capacity to handle the increased demand. Moreover, there does not appear to be market demand for recycled plastics to make new products.
Washington State’s legislature is considering two dramatically different approaches to this problem.
HB 1204 may be the most comprehensive proposal to date that addresses plastic packaging pollution and recycling, said the Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NPSC), a coalition of government organizations in Washington and Oregon. The bill requires producers of plastic packaging to participate in a “stewardship organization” that would finance and oversee all aspects of end-of-life management including:
- Collection, sorting, recycling or disposal, where recycling is not feasible;
- clean-up of marine and other plastic packaging litter;
- clean-up of plastic packaging contamination at local compost facilities;
- improvements to recycling infrastructure, such as processing equipment at recycling facilities.