On May 17, 2021 Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State signed Senate Bill 5022 into law, making Washington one of the first US states to ban polystyrene foam food containers, the first to ban foam coolers, and the first to require customers to request any single-use plastic products before a restaurant can supply them. The ban on expanded polystyrene comes into effect June 1, 2024, and all single-use service wares such as straws, utensils, condiment packets, and lids can only be supplied upon customer request beginning January 1, 2022.

SB 5022 also requires minimum recycled plastic content in many food and household product packaging. Additionally, to help simplify the recycling process, the State is waiving requirements that all rigid plastic products show the triangular “recycling symbol” because not all plastics are recyclable in standard municipal recycling, which leads to consumer confusion.

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Washington State Legislature (May 17, 2021). “SB 5022: Concerning the management of certain materials to support recycling and waste and litter reduction.”

Oceana (May 17, 2021). “Washington State Bans Polystyrene Foam, Limits Single-Use Plastic at Restaurants.”

Oceana (May 17, 2021). “Governor Inslee signs ground-breaking Washington State plastics and recycling bill.”