Plastic Packaging Management, Evaluation, & Assessment

The 2019 Washington State Legislature found that unwanted products should be managed with priority on prevention and reduction, followed by recycling and reuse, before energy recovery or landfilling. The Legislature also found that producers of plastic packaging should consider design and management of their packaging in order to reduce environmental impacts. With these findings, Chapter 70.380 RCW Plastic Packaging—Evaluation and Assessment directs Ecology to hire a consultant team to identify options to reduce plastic packaging in the waste stream that can be established and implemented by January 1, 2022.

Full Circle (under Prime Cascadia Consulting) have been hired to conduct a study of the impacts of plastic packaging in Washington. The study is intended to:

  • Consult with producers, providers of solid waste management services, and stakeholders.
  • Assess the amount and types of plastic packaging currently produced in or coming into the state.
  • Assess the full cost of managing plastic packaging waste including costs to ratepayers, business, local governments, and others.
  • Asses the final disposition of plastic packaging sold into the state.
  • Assess the infrastructure needs to manage plastic.
  • Assess the contamination and sorting issues facing the plastic packaging recycling stream.