File photo

File photo

WA lawmakers propose making companies responsible for recycling improvements

SB 5697 would compel industries to report data, invest in infrastructure, meet standards.

In the past few years, our recycling system has been challenged by changing recycled material markets, lack of investment in infrastructure and public education and a patchwork of different policies and processes regarding how we deal with recyclable waste across different communities.

This legislative session, Washington lawmakers are proposing legislation that would make the producers and sellers of products and waste responsible for planning, investing in and establishing a better system for recycling the waste that is produced in our economy.

Senate Bill 5697, primarily sponsored by Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, would establish a program “for the management of consumer packaging and paper products to be funded and implemented by producers of those products, including recycling and reuse performance requirements, convenient collection service standards, responsible management, infrastructure investments, and education and outreach.”

As currently written, the bill would require that “each producer that offers for sale, sells, or distributes in or into Washington covered products must join a producer responsibility organization that is registered with Ecology,” in this case, a “covered product” is defined as a product sold in packaging.

The producer responsibility organizations made up of stakeholders and representatives from companies that are producing the waste that consumers end up with would be overseen by the Department of Ecology, who would develop criteria for reusable or recyclable products and packaging and then would compel companies to report data on their own products and to enforce that companies are meeting recyclability goals and standards.

Industries will have to comply with recyclability goals for certain materials and companies could be fined for violating recyclability performance standards with their products.

The bill also includes measures that would allow the Department of Ecology to make rulings every five years that include:

– Requiring producer responsibility organizations to fund activities to make convenient recycling collection services available

– Establishing reuse and recycling performance requirements for material categories

– Adjusting the performance requirements based on certain factors, such as market conditions and capacity of infrastructure

The bill, which is sponsored by other Senators from King County districts, including Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, Sen. Joe Nguyen, D-West Seattle, Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle and Sen. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, is intended to help the state meet its recycling goals such as achieving 100 percent recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging in all goods sold in Washington by 2025.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Kent’s Kauffman receives State Senate committee assignments

She will become vice chair of the Human Services Behavioral Health Committee

t
Construction continues in Kent on raising of 76th Avenue South

Work starts on second of three phases to reduce flooding from Mill Creek

Courtesy Photo, Kent School District
No school in Kent on Thursday, Dec. 1 | Update

Snow, freezing temperatures leads to closure due to unsafe roads in parts of Kent School District

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics
Kent apartment rents up 5.2% compared to November 2021

Price drops 0.3% from October 2022 as rates remain flat

t
Fundraiser started for family of Kent man fatally shot at Southcenter

Chris and Mary Wesolowicz reportedly interrupted a vehicle prowl and suspect opened fire

t
Slippery, snowy road leads to Kent crash involving State Patrol SUV

Nobody hurt in collisions along SR 516; trooper had stopped for earlier crash

t
Kent schools to release students one hour earlier due to snow

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Buses will drop off students at snow route stops; after school events canceled

Stock Photo, Metro Creative Graphics
Kent opens Severe Weather Shelter; warming centers available

Shelter downtown at Holy Spirit Church; warming centers at several locations

t
Pedestrian dies in Kent hit-and-run along SR 516 near I-5

State Patrol seeks witnesses to incident that kills 37-year-old SeaTac man

Most Read