Scrap Monster
Plastic Recycling February 13, 2020 07:30:30 AM

Proposed Legislation Sparks Conversation About EPR, Plastics

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Contributor
A new federal legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) on February 11 addresses growing concerns about plastics, citing source reduction and extended producer responsibility (EPR) as solutions.

Proposed Legislation Sparks Conversation About EPR, Plastics

SEATTLE (Waste 360): A new federal legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) on February 11 addresses growing concerns about plastics, citing source reduction and extended producer responsibility (EPR) as solutions.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act (BFFPPA) features many components, including:

  •          Requiring big corporations to take responsibility for their pollution and producers of plastic products to design, manage and finance waste and recycling programs.
  •          Incentivizing big corporations to make reusable products and items that can actually be recycled.
  •          Creating a nationwide beverage container refund program, which is successful at the state level.
  •          Reducing and banning certain single-use plastic products that are not recyclable.
  •          Imposing a fee on the distribution of carryout bags.
  •          Reviewing effects of plastic tobacco filters, electronic cigarettes and derelict fishing gear and proposing measures to reduce those environmental impacts.
  •          Establishing minimum recycled content requirements for beverage containers, packaging and foodservice products, while standardizing recycling and composting labeling.
  •          Spurring massive investments in U.S. domestic recycling and composting infrastructure, while pressing pause on new plastic facilities until critical environment and health protections are put in place.
  •          Preventing plastic waste from being shipped to developing countries that can’t manage it.

“The plastic pollution crisis is past the tipping point: our communities, our waterways and even our bodies are at risk,” said Udall in a statement. “We are already bearing the cleanup costs of mountains of plastic waste, and it will only get worse for future generations. We have a responsibility to act now before the overwhelming public health, environmental, climate and economic effects of plastic pollution reach the point of no return. Our solutions are not only possible, they are practical and are already being implemented in cities and states across the country, including in my home state of New Mexico. But we need a comprehensive, national strategy to tackle this tidal wave of pollution before it is too late. We must drive the innovation necessary to break free from this unnecessary, toxic waste stream that is also accelerating the destruction of our planet via climate change. This bill calls on all of us, from companies to communities, to address this crisis head-on so that we can create a plastic pollution-free world.”


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