It’s time to Rethink—in addition to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Much has changed over the last 40 years in technologies and characteristics as well as disposal/diversion methods of the solid waste we all produce.
Issue Team Chair: Ann Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org
While managing solid waste is a smaller percentage of the contributions to climate change impacts, there are so many actions that citizens can take individually. But it’s not just about individual responsibility, but also getting companies to take responsibility for the waste their products create.In recent years the Legislature has passed bills relating to
In this session there will be continued efforts on bills that didn’t make it in the 2022 session. Look for bills on (will post bill numbers as soon as they come available):
The new efforts in “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Incentivizing plastic waste reduction and better recycling outcomes will lead to creating a circular economy to divert waste from disposal.
League priority bills are in bold below.
|House Bills||House||Senate||After Passage|
|Bill #||Bill Name (Brief Title)||League Position||Take Action||In Committee||On Floor Calendar||Passed||In Committee||On Floor Calendar||Passed||Passed Legislature||On Governor's Desk||Signed|
|SHB 1033||Evaluating compostable product usage in Washington.||Support
|SHB 1047||Concerning the use of toxic chemicals in cosmetic products.||Support
|SHB 1085||Reducing plastic pollution
Right to Repair (digital electronic repair)
These weekly updates will provide you with a "deep dive" into the progress of each bill, along with more analysis of the potential impact of the bill if it should pass.
SB 5154 Improving Washington's solid waste management outcomes. WRAP Act. Establishes product stewardship for packaging and printed paper, including recycling and reuse targets, accurate labeling provisions and requirements for post-consumer recycled content in plastic tubs, thermoform containers (e.g., clamshells), and single-use cups. Importantly, the WRAP Act includes a “bottle bill” section. This bill implements the top recommendations in Ecology’s Plastics Study (October 2020) which was required by Senator Rolfes’ SB5397 in 2019 to address our recycling crisis and the increasing amount of plastic pollution. Here is a factsheet.
SB 5144 Providing for responsible environmental management of batteries. Product stewardship bill provides for recycling of all batteries. Similar to a bill in California that was recently signed into law. The bill would make battery manufacturers responsible for the lifecycle of their products, creating an incentive for them to make batteries that last longer or are easier to recycle and providing for convenient and responsible recycling of batteries in a statewide program. The program would include portable batteries and medium batteries (scooters and power tools). Large format batteries (over 25 lbs and 2000 Wh) would be subject to a Ecology study by July 2026, and then potentially other management, including producer responsibility. Here is a factsheet.
SB 5245 Concerning biosolids. Ecology must establish pollutant limits for PFAS chemicals in biosolids, based on the results of the USEPA’s risk assessment for PFAS chemicals in biosolids. Ecology must ensure that biosolids are tested for PFAS chemicals for which this pollutant limit has been established. And land application of biosolids that do not comply with the PFAS chemical pollutant limit would be prohibited.
SB 5287 Concerning a study on the recycling of wind turbine blades Requires the Washington State University extension energy program to conduct a study on the feasibility of recycling wind turbine blades used in Washington. A single turbine blade weighs 12 tons, after 20 to 25 years it needs to be replaced. This very hard to recycle material usually ends up in the landfill. The proposed study should provide information and recommendations on siting facilities in our state and if a state managed product stewardship program could be considered.
SB 5376 Allowing the sale of cannabis waste: this bill would allow sale of cannabis if the waste would not be designated as dangerous or hazardous waste and then be part of organic disposal. Currently, this organic waste is often landfilled.
SB 5464/HB 1392 Right to Repair - Promoting the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic equipment: This bill requires digital electronic product manufacturers, such as Apple and Microsoft, to make repair information, parts and tools available to independent repair businesses and owners. There’s a huge amount of e-waste! For example, on average, Washington disposes of 8,700 phones every day. This bill would make it possible for small businesses to repair computers, tablets and cellphones. Extending the life of computers, tablets and cellphones will decrease the need for more resources, energy and transportation to manufacture new products – therefore also decreasing greenhouse gas. This bill will lower costs for consumers, get used computers, tablets and cell phones into the hands of people who need them, and help overcome digital inequities in Washington. This way, people will keep using their items instead of tossing them! LWVWA supports bills that reduce the amount of solid waste and provide equity in access with reused or lower cost devices.
SB 5579 Allows the Department of Ecology to elect to refrain from or cease administering or enforcing a requirement related to the use of hydrofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting substance substitutes if it determines that supply chain problems or other similar disruptions threaten to impair businesses or consumers in Washington, and that suspending enforcement of a requirement would mitigate the problem. We are “watching” this bill.
SB 5605/HB 1551 Reducing lead in cookware: this bill bans, beginning January 1, 2025, the sale of cookware or cookware component containing lead or lead compounds at a level of more than five parts per million in or into Washington. Bill also authorizes Department of Ecology to establish rules and penalties. LWVWA supports measures to reduce exposure to toxics in the home
HB 1033 Evaluating compostable product usage. Establishes an advisory committee to standardize composting across Washington.
HB 1047 Concerning the use of toxic chemicals in cosmetic products. Eliminates the sale of cosmetics that contain one of nine toxins as identified in the bill. Allows for a phase-out to keep toxins out of homes and environment.
HB 1085 Reducing plastic pollution. A three-pronged approach to reduce the use of unnecessary plastics by 1) Requiring refill stations in drinking fountains in all new construction; 2) Phasing out mini toiletries plastic packaging (including shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and soaps) at hotels and other lodging establishments; 3) Banning foam-filled dock floats in our lakes and marine waters.
HB 1131 Improving Washington's solid waste management outcomes. WRAP Act (see above)
HB 1422 Clarifying that certain reusable packing materials are exempt from sales and use tax): this bill excludes from sales and use tax the renting or leasing of packing materials under a packing material sharing and reuse program (i.e., a system that pools packing materials among multiple persons for reuse). Packing materials includes boxes, crates, pallets, bottles, cans, bags, drums, cartons, wrapping papers, cellophane, twines, gummed tapes, wire, bands, excelsior, wastepaper, and all other materials in which personal property may be contained or protected within a container. LWVWA supports the use of reusable packaging and thus deems that the tax exemption is reasonable.
HB 1164 Responsible management of appliances containing harmful gases and other materials. Creates a producer responsibility program for appliances.
HB 1185 Reducing environmental impacts associated with lighting products. Addresses a phase out of mercury light bulbs and an update of the existing light-cycle law.