Statement: The Washington Recycling and Packaging Act moves past major legislative hurdle

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — On Thursday, the House Appropriations committee advanced the Washington Recycling and Packaging (WRAP) Act with a vote of 19-12. Sponsored by Rep. Liz Berry (D-Seattle), the WRAP Act (HB 1131) would address the growing amount of unnecessary packaging–much of which is plastic and not recyclable. 

The second substitute bill will now need to be considered by the full Washington House of Representatives and receive enough votes in a floor vote by Thursday, March 8th in order to advance in the legislative process. 

The WRAP Act would use two complementary mechanisms to improve recycling and reduce waste:

  1. Establish a producer responsibility system, requiring the companies that actually make packaging decisions to be financially responsible for the end-of-life management of these materials, rather than those costs falling on Washington residents. This model has proven successful around the world, and similar programs have recently been established by state legislatures in California, Oregon, Colorado, and Maine.
  2. Create a bottle deposit program, which has been shown to generate very high recycling rates for beverage containers.

In response, Environment Washington Advocate Pam Clough released the following statement: 

“I talk to Washingtonians all the time about how frustrated they are with plastics and hard-to-recycle packaging. For too long, Washington individuals and communities have shouldered the costs of recycling and disposing of the increasing amount of packaging coming into our lives. By making companies financially responsible for the waste their products create, companies will actually have a stake in ensuring that their materials get reused, composted or recycled.

As the WRAP Act advances to the next step in the legislative process, we look forward to advocating for a strong bill that will increase Washingtonians’ access to recycling services, improve our states’ recycling rates, and reduce the amount of plastic trash that ends up polluting our communities and environment for centuries to come.”


Environment Washington is a statewide environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.