Packaging and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Senator Christine Rolfes and Rep. Liz Berry are preparing to introduce comprehensive EPR packaging legislation similar to what has recently passed in California seeking to reduce and eventually eliminate harmful packaging being improperly disposed of or if possible recycled – mostly targeted at plastics. The bill will create a statewide program that will be administered by the Department of Ecology and paid for by assessments or taxes paid by producers of the packaging – which could include retailers if the producer cannot be identified or held responsible. WR has significant concerns about the scope and complexity of the proposal. Key to our associations neutrality or potential support are clear definitions particularly as it relates to producers and covered products. Additionally, reasonable implementation timelines must be included to allow processes for compliance to be created.

WR has already met with the sponsors and key stakeholders and will continue to share our priorities for a workable bill. We will testify at the hearings and meet with legislative leaders and committee members. WR board and PGAC will be fully engaged in the strategy – including separate EPR stakeholder meetings.