Washington Packaging Stewardship Activities

SB 5697, renewing Washington's recycling system and reducing waste, which would have created an extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for consumer packaging and paper products (PPP), did not move forward this session

The bill would have created a coordinated, transparent statewide system for residential recycling that is funded by the producers of PPP; residents would no longer have to pay for recycling and local governments could seek reimbursement for their recycling services.

SB 5697 builds on the plastic packaging study and recommendations submitted to the legislature in October 2020, which was the result of the study bill passed in 2019, as well as the recycled content requirements (SB 5022) bill passed in 2021.

Bill Status

SB 5697 was heard Jan. 18 in the Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology committee, was voted out of committee on Feb. 2, and was scheduled for a vote in Ways & Means but did not move forward.

Note the legislature's website allows you to remotely testify, submit written testimony, or to indicate your position (support, oppose, or neutral) on a bill: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/. You can also "Comment on this bill" in the upper right corner of each bill's webpage.

Tools for Local Government in Washington

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."

Watch the NWPSC video on why EPR is a solution for the problem of packaging (YouTube):