Washington Legislature passes major law to reduce plastic pollution

Each year, 33 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment — and our Pacific shoreline isn’t immune.

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Mary Katherine Moore
Content Creator

Author: Mary Katherine Moore

Content Creator

Started on staff: 2020
B.A., magna cum laude, Boston University

Mary Katherine creates print and digital content with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network, with a focus on Environment America and its state affiliates. Mary Katherine lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she enjoys reading, running, baking and hiking.

Each year, 33 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment — and our Pacific shoreline isn’t immune.

To address this plastic pollution crisis, the Washington Legislature passed Senate Bill 5022 on April 7. The bill bans expanded polystyrene foam (what most of us call Styrofoam) peanuts, coolers and foodware; requires businesses to provide single-use foodware only upon request; and ensures that plastic bottles and trash bags contain a certain level of post-consumer recycled content. Environment Washington advocated for the bill, connected constituents with their legislators to support the bill, and even rallied citizens around “Washingtonians Against Waste,” an online collection of stories from Washingtonians who worked to put wildlife over waste.

“Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing issues facing Washington’s rivers, oceans and wildlife,” said Mandy Apa, Environment Washington campaign associate. “This bill will make Washington a national leader in preventing plastic pollution.” 

The bill now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for signature.  

Read more about the bill. 

Visit out our Washingtonians Against Waste site.

TAKE ACT NOW

Moving beyond plastic foam is something we can do right now, right here. If we win, we’ll see a difference in cleaner beaches and parks, and we’ll know it’s making a difference to the wildlife in our rivers, lakes and oceans.

Let’s choose wildlife over waste. Tell our governor to ban plastic foam take-out cups and containers.

Photo: Americans throw out some 25 billion plastic foam cups every day — making these items one of the most crucial to eliminate if we hope to solve our plastic pollution crisis. Credit: Pam Walker via Shutterstock

Mary Katherine Moore
Content Creator

Author: Mary Katherine Moore

Content Creator

Started on staff: 2020
B.A., magna cum laude, Boston University

Mary Katherine creates print and digital content with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network, with a focus on Environment America and its state affiliates. Mary Katherine lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she enjoys reading, running, baking and hiking.