Legislators in nine states spanning the U.S. continue to collaborate to push extended producer responsibility policies for plastic packaging. They believe joint actions will carry more weight than a single legislative effort.
The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, made up of lawmakers in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state, have introduced legislation to shifts the costs of recycling products onto the producers.
In only two states are proposal still active: Maine and Oregon, and legislative sessions in both states come to a close this month. In California three extended producer responsibility (EPR) were introduced but, as of now, have failed to gain support or has been placed in the “inactive file.”
California Senate Bill 54, the “Plastic Pollution Producer Responsibility Act,” moved through the Environmental Quality committee and received a recommendation for passage. The bill was referred to the Committee on Appropriations, where it was read twice and ordered for a third reading, before being moved to the “inactive file,” indicating it is ready for floor consideration but is currently dormant, according to the state’s legislative information website. However, as the legislation session approaches its final days, the Committee generally ranks bills in the inactive file and decides, on a cost basis to implement, whether to refer them out of Committee.
California Assembly Bill 842, the “California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act,” moved into the Committee on Natural Resources, where it was read several times and amended. The bill, which establishes EPR and post-consumer resin (PCR) mandates, has not received further action.
California Assembly Bill 1371, which proposed to ban several types of plastic packaging used in e-commerce, did not receive enough votes to pass this month and is dead for this legislative session. The bill would ban plastic shipping envelopes, cushioning and void-fill packaging from being used by online retailers.