Plastic recycling bills make progress

Plastic recycling bills make progress

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Plastics recycling received widespread attention this legislative session, with bills relating to plastics recycling and bills relating to container deposits together accounting for 20 percent of all recycling and waste management legislation introduced.

A bill that would require strict labeling of degradable plastics is awaiting the signature of North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. House Bill 315 specifically bans any rigid plastic container, including a beverage container, that does not have a molded label indicating the resin code and "chasing arrows" symbol. Therefore, in order to be sold in the state, any degradable, biodegradable, or compostable plastic container must be clearly labeled with "Not Recyclable. Do Not Recycle."

"Recyclability and degradability are not compatible," said Will Sagar, executive director of the Southeast Recycling Development Council. "North Carolina is a leader in plastic recycling and this bill protects this important contributor to the state's economic success."

The act would go into effect immediately upon the governor's signature.

Texas lawmakers have sent Senate Bill 875 to the desk of Governor Rick Perry. The bill requires purchasers of five or more bulk plastic merchandise containers to obtain proof of ownership information from the seller, as well as maintain records of the transaction, the proof of ownership and the seller's contact information. The bill is aimed at curbing the theft of these types of materials.

A bill that would update California's container deposit system is currently making its way through the state legislature. Assembly Bill 744 requires CalRecycle to establish reporting periods of every six months for redemption rates and recycling rates for specified types of beverage containers. The agency would then issue a report based on the calculated rates. The bill has passed the Assembly and is currently in the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.

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