File photo

File photo

WA lawmakers propose making companies responsible for recycling improvements

SB 5697 would compel industries to report data, invest in infrastructure, meet standards.

In the past few years, our recycling system has been challenged by changing recycled material markets, lack of investment in infrastructure and public education and a patchwork of different policies and processes regarding how we deal with recyclable waste across different communities.

This legislative session, Washington lawmakers are proposing legislation that would make the producers and sellers of products and waste responsible for planning, investing in and establishing a better system for recycling the waste that is produced in our economy.

Senate Bill 5697, primarily sponsored by Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, would establish a program “for the management of consumer packaging and paper products to be funded and implemented by producers of those products, including recycling and reuse performance requirements, convenient collection service standards, responsible management, infrastructure investments, and education and outreach.”

As currently written, the bill would require that “each producer that offers for sale, sells, or distributes in or into Washington covered products must join a producer responsibility organization that is registered with Ecology,” in this case, a “covered product” is defined as a product sold in packaging.

The producer responsibility organizations made up of stakeholders and representatives from companies that are producing the waste that consumers end up with would be overseen by the Department of Ecology, who would develop criteria for reusable or recyclable products and packaging and then would compel companies to report data on their own products and to enforce that companies are meeting recyclability goals and standards.

Industries will have to comply with recyclability goals for certain materials and companies could be fined for violating recyclability performance standards with their products.

The bill also includes measures that would allow the Department of Ecology to make rulings every five years that include:

– Requiring producer responsibility organizations to fund activities to make convenient recycling collection services available

– Establishing reuse and recycling performance requirements for material categories

– Adjusting the performance requirements based on certain factors, such as market conditions and capacity of infrastructure

The bill, which is sponsored by other Senators from King County districts, including Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, Sen. Joe Nguyen, D-West Seattle, Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle and Sen. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, is intended to help the state meet its recycling goals such as achieving 100 percent recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging in all goods sold in Washington by 2025.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Courtesy of King County Council.
Dembowski and Perry to host town hall at Northshore Senior Center

The event will take place on May 19 at 6:15 p.m. at the Northshore Senior Center in Bothell.

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Annie Song. Courtesy of Enkor Competition.
Bothell High School student to perform violin solo at Benaroya Hall

Annie Song will perform Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op 19 by Sergei Prokofiev on May 15.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.

Courtesy of Bellevue Downtown Association
Bellevue Downtown Association to host 15th Annual Bellevue Jazz & Blues Music Series

The event will be from June 1st to 5th and will feature over 25 artists.

Police lights (File photo)
Kirkland man faces charges after holding gun to victims’ heads

The defendant is facing two felony harassment charges and assault in the fourth degree.

Juanita High School Pool (Screenshot from Google Images)
$2 million in grant funding to help invest in aquatic recreation in North King County

Funding comes from the “penny for pools” amendment in the voter-approved 2020-2025 Parks Levy.

King County logo
King County audit finds backlog of property tax exemption applications for seniors, people with disabilities, and disabled veterans

The auditors found that program expansions lead to three-times the amount of applications.

Most Read