Bill To Increase Post-Consumer Recycled Content for Plastics Passes Assembly Approps; Advocates Call for Posting to Assembly & Senate for Monday’s Final Session

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Environment New Jersey

Trenton – Today, the New Jersey Assembly Appropriation Committee voted to approve the Recycled Content bill (S2515/A4676) by a 7-4 vote, which would require increasing post-consumer recycled content in a variety of packaging products including plastic containers, plastic beverage containers, plastic bags, plastic trash bags, glass containers, and paper bags.

This will go a long way in strengthening the market for recyclables and reducing reliance on new fossil fuel derived plastics. Today’s committee vote comes after extensive hearings and many hours of testimony in both the Senate, where the bill has already passed, and the Assembly, making today’s hearing the seventh hearing for the legislation.

Environmental advocates across the state applaud the committee’s vote to advance A4676 and continue to urge Assembly Speaker Coughlin to post the bill on the agenda for an Assembly floor vote this coming Monday January 10 – the last day of the legislative session – and thank the leadership of the Senate prime sponsor, Senate Environment Chair Bob Smith (D-17). 

Below is a joint statement from Clean Water Action, Clean Ocean Action, Environment New Jersey, NJ Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Save Barnegat Bay, and Beyond Plastics:

“New Jersey is beginning to take a leading role not just in fighting plastic pollution, but also in helping create the shift in our policies, business practices, and consumer habits toward a zero waste paradigm that prioritizes waste prevention, reuse, and redesign. Following the statewide single-use bag ban, post-consumer recycled content requirements for common single-use products is the next logical policy step to address the plastic pollution crisis we are facing. 

S2515/A4676 will strengthen the market for recyclables and help keep new fossil fuel-derived plastics out of the waste stream, our communities, and our environment. New Jersey will be one of only a handful of states to pass a recycled content bill and will help set the standard for recycling across the entire East Coast despite several late amendments

Voluntary commitments by manufacturers are not enough. It is important that the New Jersey Legislature passes A4676 and continues to take steps to improve recycling and reduce the need for virgin plastics. We now urge Assembly Speaker Coughlin to post the bill to the agenda for a floor vote on January 10 to ensure its passage during this legislative session and concurrence in the State Senate of the amended legislation.”