Washington Packaging Stewardship Activities

HB 1131 / SB 5154, improving Washington's solid waste management outcomes, also known as the Washington Recycling and Packaging (WRAP) Act, would create an extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for consumer packaging and paper products.

The WRAP Act would set minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements for different packaging materials. The bill would also require producers of certain beverage containers to set up and operate a deposit return system (DRS) in order to satisfy their producer obligations.

Bill Status

The bills were heard Jan. 17 in both the Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee and in the House Environment and Energy Committee and substitutes were voted out to fiscal committees. On Feb. 23, HB 1131 passed Appropriations but did not receive a floor vote and will not move forward in 2023.

The bill builds upon SB 5022 and HB 1118 from past legislative sessions and shares many similarities with last year's EPR bill, the RENEW Act, which did not succeed.

More than 45 countries have packaging EPR laws and the U.S. is "the only member nation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that does not have an industry-financed packaging stewardship program," according to a letter in support from the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). "Similar programs have been operating with great success in many areas of the world for more than 30 years, including Belgium, which has achieved an 80% recycling rate for packaging, and in British Columbia, which has achieved a 75% recovery rate."