The first step towards the solution for plastic pollution

Plastic is everywhere, but humans aren’t the only ones struggling with the consequences. Millions of tons of plastic enter our rivers, lakes, and oceans threatening our wildlife. 

When plastics products enter the water system, they don’t biodegrade like paper, food, or other organic materials. Rather, they’ll remain intact or break down into smaller pieces called microplastics, creating a toxic plastic “soup” that’s easily mistaken for food and ingested by our wildlife. 

This session, the Washington Legislature has the chance to help. Senator Mona Das is championing PSSB 5022, containing three key measures that will address Washington’s plastic problem: 

  • A ban on foam: The bill outlines a ban on the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of extended polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) food service products, packing peanuts, and coolers by June 1st, 2023. 

  • Building market value for plastic: This requires plastic beverage containers to have a percentage of post-consumer recycled content in an effort to build a market for recyclables. By 2023, manufacturers would be required to have 15% of post-consumer plastic in their products, and at least an average of 50% in 2031.

  • Reducing single-use plastics: Restaurants and food service businesses will provide plastic straws, utensils, cup lids, and condiment packages only by request or in self-service bins. 

These measures would start to address our recycling crisis and plastic pollution in Washington, and put Washington on the right path to an Extended Producer Responsibility System. 

It’s time for Washington to put wildlife over waste, but we need your help. 

Take action and email your local legislators and encourage them to support PSSB 5022. You can also act by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-800-562-6000 between 8 AM and 7 PM, Monday through Friday, and leave a message for all of your legislators urging them to say YES to PSSB 5022. 

For more information on PSSB 5022, check out the fact sheet here

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Authors

Pam Clough

Advocate, Environment Washington

As an advocate with Environment Washington, Pam develops and runs campaigns to protect Washington's air, water, and special places. She has worked on issues ranging from clean energy climate solutions, preventing plastic pollution, defending clean water, and protecting our special natural spaces. Pam lives in Steilacoom, Washington, where she enjoys kayaking on the Puget Sound, gardening and hiking in the surrounding mountains.

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