Washington state is now on the forefront of tackling a global problem: what do to about all the recyclable cardboard, plastic and cans now that China is no longer accepting it.
To handle the problem, the new law attempts to (1) finds ways to reduce contamination in our recycling stream through education and outreach, and (2) develop new local markets for recyclable materials so that Washington state can be self-reliant and sustainable.
“Preserving our planet for future generations should be one of our top priorities as lawmakers — and that’s why I sponsored the Senate version of this bill,” said Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent). “We know that our recycling practices and policies are changing, so we’re taking an innovative approach for planning for our future. It was an honor to work with the Department of Ecology and Rep. Mead, who sponsored the House bill. This bill will help our state lead the nation in becoming greener and more sustainable.”
“This is about working together for a cleaner, healthier Washington state,” said Rep. Jared Mead (D-Mill Creek), who sponsored House Bill 1543.
When the House voted on the legislation, he said during the debate, “We’ve all seen the upsetting images of wildlife like birds, turtles and other fish with plastic garbage stuck around their throats or filling their stomachs. And we’ve all walked the beautiful Washington shores in the summer and had to be careful to avoid stepping on the broken glass or sharp plastic trash laying around. This is a man-made problem. It requires a man-made solution.”
House Bill 1543 passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 64-32 and passed the Senate 34-13.
The above is a press release from the Wa State Senate Democrats. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents.