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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 5, 2019 08:27 AM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Addressing non-recyclable plastic waste in Pennsylvania
Research indicates that nearly half of all plastic is produced solely for the purpose of product packaging. Since online shopping is growing dramatically and these purchases require a significant amount of packaging, it is obvious that this portion of the waste stream is going to continue to grow.

Unfortunately, while we as consumers can choose the products we buy, we typically cannot choose its packaging. As such, we are often left with piles of packaging that manufacturers and retailers tout as “recyclable” for which there is no collection program or market for the recyclable material.

That’s because the responsibility for managing this ever-increasing quantity of plastic packaging falls primarily on state and local governments for which they often seek private contracts to service in order to manage through their solid waste management collection programs.

These are the “recyclables” such as polystyrene foam packaging or clear plastic wrap, which the manufacture affixed a recycling symbol without considering if there is a collection program or a market for this material.

As such, I am a sponsoring a bill that will ensure that producers of plastic packaging take responsibility for the decisions they make, by requiring that producers of plastic packaging may not sell or distribute plastic packaging in the Commonwealth unless they are part of a recycling program to take it back.

Please join me in helping to reduce the ever-increasing quantity of plastic packaging products that end up in a disposal facility or polluting our environment.