In recent days, a proposal for extended producer responsibility was sidelined in New York, and Iowa lawmakers sat deadlocked over legislation to update the bottle bill.
A Washington state zero waste group was engaging in “intense negotiations” on an extended producer responsibility bill this year, but the legislation stalled anyway. One advocate said she’s now looking at other states to help inspire next steps.
By updating older deposit return systems, states can create jobs, increase municipal savings and boost recycling rates, according to research from nonprofit Reloop North America.
Interest in minimum-recycled-content mandates and extended producer responsibility bills is at an all-time high, but the reality of passing legislation is more complicated, according to industry experts.
A recent U.N. agreement to create a treaty on plastic pollution has brought recycling, waste and producer responsibility issues into the mainstream discussion.
Though container deposit systems typically help lift recovery rates for covered materials, the programs also usually reduce tonnages of high-quality PET and aluminum going to sorting facilities. A new study helps to quantify those potential impacts.
For several years, lawmakers across the U.S. have been drafting policy to address concerns about ocean plastic. In Oregon, a key recycling labeling task force elected a representative from an ocean environmental group as vice chair.
West Coast lawmakers plan to introduce a national container deposit bill that one advocate says has a better chance of passing than past proposals because of wide “industry engagement.”
Over the past year, the recycling policy discussion nationwide has focused mainly on proposals that force producers to pay for packaging recovery. But significant activity around container deposits is also taking place, particularly in the Northeast.