The $500 million bipartisan legislation has broad support among industry trade groups
Two members of Congress, as well as a coalition of private-sector businesses and trade groups, have unveiled a $500 million plan to encourage recycling and improve waste management efforts.
The legislation, examined in a recent article by Steve Toloken in Plastics News, is called the Realizing the Economic Opportunity and Values of Expanding Recycling Act, or the Recover Act for short. It sets aside the money as matching funds for state and local government to improve their recycling infrastructure. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA.) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN.).
It is supported by the Plastics Industry Association, the American Chemistry Council, and the Vinyl Institute, in addition to plastics companies Berry Global, Kenrich Petrochemicals, and Erema. Industry associations in flexible packaging as well as glass and solid waste sectors have also expressed support.
Quoted in the article, Tony Radoszewski, president and CEO of the Washington-based Plastics Industry Association, said, “This bipartisan bill will help address the infrastructure shortcomings that can contribute to recyclable materials ending up in our oceans and waterways, and we look forward to working with representatives to move it forward.”
This funding could support, among other things, upgrades to material recovery facilities to better handle flexible film and other new kinds of packaging.
There are increasingly detailed discussions around how to pay for expanded recycling systems. Lawmakers like Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) are preparing legislation that would put more responsibility on companies that use plastic packaging to pay for recycling and ban some single-use plastics.
Toloken also reports that in California, where legislative pressure is strongest, the American Chemistry Council has proposed a fee on disposable foodservice packaging of three-tenths of a cent per item on all types, not just plastics, an idea that could be picked up in federal legislation. Some lawmakers in California are also pushing for a referendum vote in the November 2020 elections for a 1-cent fee on plastic packaging to fund waste and recycling programs.
To read the full article, visit Plastics News here.
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