NERC Presses for Minimum Post-consumer Recycled Plastic Legislation
A Brief Summary
Northeast Recycling Council, a proponent for sustainable waste management, invited public comments on its Minimum post-consumer recycled plastic requirements. The new push from the organisation's side proposes that producers of certain plastic products should manufacture them with a minimum amount of post-consumer recycled plastic.
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NERC said several recycling officials have been working in a group from the region for many months to develop draft model legislation to require a minimum amount of postconsumer recycled plastic content in trash bags, takeout bags, non-durable containers used for food, beverages, household cleaning, and personal care products.
Each product has its requirements, for example, takeout bags should have 20% and 40% post-consumer recycled content after two and five years. In the meantime, plastic beverage containers should have 15% and 25% post-consumer recycled content after two and five years.
Members of the working group included the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
In contrast to pre-consumer recycled content, which comprises scraps and faults that never made it to the consumer, post-consumer recycled content indicates recycled material that has completed its intended end-use. While both are superior to virgin inputs, post-consumer is typically thought to be the more environmentally benign alternative, but it is more difficult to recycle due to the possibility of contamination.