In an article published on February 18, 2021, law firm Keller and Heckman provides an overview of proposed legislation across US states that would introduce minimum recycled content requirements in plastic packaging. The state of California was the first to pass a law (AB 793) requiring 50% recycled content in plastic bottles by the year 2030. The article provides a closer look into bills recently introduced into decision making bodies in the states of Washington, New Jersey, and Oregon.

In Washington, bill SB 5219 would see a ramping up of recycled content requirements for all plastic packaging to 50% by 2031, and bill SB 5022 would introduce requirements just for plastic bottles. The New Jersey legislature has seen the proposal of bill SB 2515, which would introduce a range of recycled content requirements for multiple packaging types including glass containers, plastic containers, and plastic and paper carryout bags. Oregon’s bill HB 2065 focuses instead on requiring the creation and compliance with minimum plastic recovery rates, and it would mandate manufacturers to join a producer responsibility organization that reports to state authorities each year.

The bills are being considered amidst a period of increased stakeholder pressure to improve the US recycling system (FPF reported), including proposals for nationwide blueprints of the recycling sector (FPF reported) and recommendations on key investments to make (FPF reported).

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American Chemistry Council (April 21, 2021). “America’s Plastic Makers Call on Governor Inslee to Veto Expanded Polystyrene Foodservice Packaging Ban.

Keller and Heckman (February 18, 2021). “More States Consider Minimum Recycled Content Requirements.”