This fall, as an advocate for Setting Washington, I helped arrange a trash cleanup. In simply over an hour, our crew collected greater than 120 kilos of trash. Whereas we discovered some giant objects, we largely discovered small packaging – a lot of it plastic. That is no shock as round 30% of main plastic manufacturing is used to make plastic packaging. The proliferation of supplies which are troublesome to recycle, corresponding to skinny plastic movie or multi-material packaging, is likely one of the contributors to Washington’s declining recycling charges over the previous decade. This has additionally contributed to the rising value of recycling, leading to diminished companies and better charges for some Washingtonians.
Producer accountability for packaging, which has been used within the EU and Canada for many years, makes firms and producers financially answerable for the end-of-life prices of their merchandise. Establishing such a program in Washington would create one listing of recyclables all through the state, serving to to cut back confusion and air pollution. It is going to additionally broaden recycling companies throughout the state for free of charge to customers whereas bettering recycling charges.
This coverage provides frequent sense options to cut back waste and enhance recycling outcomes in Washington. Name your legislators and ask them to go prolonged producer accountability in 2024.
Pam Clough, Seattle