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Monday, December 4, 2023
Dec. 4, 2023

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Washington Department of Ecology seeks input on state’s plastics law

By , Columbian staff writer

The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public comment regarding its proposed changes to the state’s 2021 plastics law.

The law reduces new single-use plastic production and requires a minimum amount of post-consumer recycled content to be included in garbage bags and bottles.

Updates to the state requirements would steer the agency’s management and procedures related to recycled materials content, as well as how to calculate plastic producer fees.

Comments must be submitted by July 1, which can be submitted through Ecology’s website or via mail to Ecology’s Solid Waste Management Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504. The agency will host online public hearings on June 8 and 15 for those who want to learn more about the proposed changes and provide testimony.

The updated rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

Plastic manufacturers must submit yearly reports beginning April 1, 2024, that shows the percentage of recycled materials and new plastics they include in their products. As of January, garbage bags must contain 10 percent recycled content and bottles must contain 15 percent, ratios that will increase and be applied to more products as years pass. A manufacturer’s failure to meet these regulations may result in a fine.

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