Soundkeeper’s Plastics and Recycling Bill champions are repackaging SB 5022 to move fast and travel light. 

The omnibus Plastics and Recycling Bill has been substituted with ESSB5022, a slimmer proposed bill that focuses on three key policies that will serve as an important first step in building towards an Extended Producer Responsibility System for Washington. The trimmer substitute bill, ESSB5022, has been heard in the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology committee and includes the following:

  • Requires that plastic beverage containers contain post-consumer recycled plastic, from a minimum of 15% by weight in 2023 to 50% by 2031;
  • Bans expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) coolers, food service products, and packing peanuts as of June 1, 2023; and
  • Requires that restaurants and food service businesses provide straws, utensils, condiment packages and beverage cup lids only on request or in self-serve bins. 

SB 5022, championed by Senator Mona Das, implements top-line recommendations from Ecology’s Plastics Study (October 2020), which was required by Senator Christine Rolfes’ 2019 bill (SB5397) to address our recycling crisis and the increasing amount of plastic pollution. 

The measures contained in ESS5022 are an important first step for broader changes we will bring back to Olympia next year to improve Washington’s recycling system, provide recycling to all residents in the state, make recycling free for residents by requiring producers to pay for the full life-cycle of their products, and reduce plastic pollution. 

For more information on Extended Producer Responsibility Systems, you can watch the Washington State Recycling Association’s video of a tour that took place in December at Recycle BC, or learn more here at the Northwest Product Stewardship Council’s webpage. 

For more details on the substitute bill, check out our factsheet here.

Thank you for helping us stop plastic pollution from entering Puget Sound!