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Two members of Congress who have pushed for EPR, a national deposit system and more are now encouraging state and municipal lawmakers to introduce their own versions of the legislation.
The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, introduced in Congress in February, contains numerous measures that affect the U.S. recycling system, including extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging, a national container deposit, minimum recycled content requirements and more. In EPR systems, producers of different material types are mandated to manage and/or fund recovery systems.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., and it has generated significant discussion within the recycling sector. It was referred into a House committee and has not seen action since then.
But on Aug. 12, Udall and Lowethal released a memo that serves as a guide for how local and state lawmakers can bring policies from the national act into their own jurisdictions. The memo was addressed to the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, a group of state lawmakers across the country who are particularly interested in environmental issues.