The Washington Recycling and Packaging or WRAP Act — to be considered during the 2023 session of the Washington State Legislature — is designed to cut down on unnecessary packaging, which often is plastic, used only once and hard to recycle. The legislation was unveiled at an event at the Seattle Aquarium earlier this week. Sponsors are Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, and Rep. Liz Berry, D-Seattle.
One part of the proposed legislation will create a producer responsibility system, which requires companies to be responsible for packaging at the end of its life. Nora Nickum, senior ocean policy manager at the Seattle Aquarium, said under the WRAP Act, packaging producers would pay into a program, which would go toward recycling infrastructure.
“But they would pay less into the system if what they are making is more sustainable,” Nickum explained. “So that would be a built-in incentive to redesign things in a way that’s more environmentally friendly.” Mazzi Nowicki, a University of Washington student and beyond plastics coordinator for WASHPIRG Students, said the measure would hold producers responsible.