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NERC requests comments for minimum postconsumer recycled content legislation

Officials in the region drafted model legislation to require the use of postconsumer recycled content in several plastic products.

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The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), Brattleboro, Vermont, is requesting public comments for the Minimum Postconsumer Recycled Content Model Legislation for Plastics. The model legislation is intended to be a starting point in the development of legislation requiring the use of postconsumer recycled plastic in specified products sold in the region.

According to an announcement from NERC, a group of recycling officials from the region has been working for 18 months to develop draft model legislation to require a minimum amount of postconsumer recycled plastic content in carryout bags and food, beverage and household product containers. The draft model legislation is available to view online.

The draft model legislation proposes that carryout bags distributed in the region must contain at least 20 percent postconsumer recycled content within two years of the enactment date and 40 percent postconsumer recycled content within five years of the enactment date. For trash bags sold in the region, the draft model legislation proposes they contain 10 percent postconsumer recycled content within two years of the enactment date and 30 percent postconsumer recycled content within five years of the enactment date.

For plastic beverage containers sold in the region, the draft model legislation proposes that they must contain at least 15 percent postconsumer recycled content within two years of the enactment date, 25 percent postconsumer recycled content within five years of enactment date and 50 percent postconsumer recycled content within 10 years of the enactment date.

NERC’s draft model legislation also proposes that rigid plastic containers sold in the region must contain at least 25 percent postconsumer recycled content within two years of the enactment date and, beginning every three years from the enactment date, rigid containers sold in the region must increase postconsumer recycled content by 5 percent per year until reaching a 50 percent postconsumer recycled content .

NERC will accept comments on the draft model legislation via a feedback form on its website until Feb. 11. In addition, NERC plans to co-host a webinar with the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association at 1 p.m. Eastern Jan. 13 to discuss the draft model legislation.