skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, June 14, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

WA Bill Introduced to 'WRAP' Up Wasteful Packaging

play audio
Play

Thursday, January 5, 2023   

A bill in Olympia aims to reduce packaging and improve recycling in Washington state.

The Washington Recycling and Packaging or WRAP Act is designed to cut down on unnecessary packaging, which often in plastic, used only once and hard to recycle. One part of the legislation will create a producer responsibility system, which requires companies to be responsible for packaging at the end of its life.

Mazzi Nowicki, a University of Washington student and beyond plastics coordinator for WASHPIRG Students, said the measure would hold producers responsible.

"Recycling in general is really expensive and ends up as a burden on consumers, local governments, taxpayers," Nowicki pointed out. "Whereas that cost should be put on producers instead."

Residents in 11 Washington state counties do not have access to recycling. More than half of Washington's consumer paper and packaging ends up in landfills and incinerators, according to an analyst with Seattle Public Utilities.

Plastics producers and recyclers say the policy will not be useful if it creates too many onerous regulations on their industries.

The legislation was unveiled at an event at the Seattle Aquarium on Wednesday and will be championed by Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, and Rep. Liz Berry, D-Seattle.

Nora Nickum, senior ocean policy manager at the Seattle Aquarium, said under the WRAP Act, packaging producers would pay into a program, which would go toward recycling infrastructure.

"But they would pay less into the system if what they are making is more sustainable," Nickum explained. "So that would be a built-in incentive to redesign things in a way that's more environmentally friendly."

In 2017, Washington state residents and businesses produced about 410,000 tons of plastic packaging waste, and only about 17% of the waste was collected for recycling.

Nickum noted plastic is harmful for the environment and wildlife, especially as it breaks down into microplastics.

"Dealing with the problem of waste in the environment is much easier to address at the source before it gets into the environment in the first place," Nickum stressed. "Because it is so hard to clean up once it's there."

Similar producer-responsibility legislation has been passed in other states, including California and Oregon. The WRAP Act also will establish a bottle-deposit program. The legislative session begins on Monday.

Disclosure: The Seattle Aquarium contributes to our fund for reporting on Animal Welfare, Education, Endangered Species and Wildlife, and Oceans. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
An Associated Press/NORC poll found 47% of people are unlikely to purchase an electric vehicle, with the biggest reason being the high cost. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

As New York and New Jersey transition to electric vehicles, consumers have mixed feelings about it. Polls show fewer than half of New York drivers …


Environment

play sound

Kentucky will receive $74 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 million in …

Social Issues

play sound

Legislation in Connecticut could help reduce the ongoing child care workforce shortage Reports show some 40,000 child care positions unfilled…


Of more than 7,300 lawmakers nationwide, just 116, or 1.6%, currently or last worked in manual labor, service industry, clerical or labor union jobs. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Half of Americans go to work every day in the service industry, doing clerical work or in construction and other manual labor jobs but fewer than 2% …

Social Issues

play sound

The age of both presidential front-runners has drawn extra attention in this year's race and meanwhile, North Dakota voters this week embraced …

Researchers said many people in the U.S. have some protection against the COVID virus through vaccination or prior infection. (insta_photos/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

The Food and Drug Administration has advised makers of the COVID-19 vaccine to formulate the next dosage to fight the JN.1 strain of the virus…

Social Issues

play sound

Full-time LGBTQ+ workers make about 90 cents for every dollar earned by the average worker in the U.S. Today is LGBTQ+ Equal Pay Awareness Day…

Environment

play sound

About 1.6 million acres of Great Plains grasslands were destroyed in 2021 alone, according to a recent report, an area the size of Delaware. One …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021