PRESS RELEASE: NYS has Chance at Getting Cleaner as Senate Passes Waste Reduction Bill

Larchmont, NY – New York State took a step towards a cleaner future Friday afternoon as the State Senate passed S4246D, The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act, on what is expected to be the last day of session for both chambers.

The action, which aims to reduce plastic packaging waste and pollution, comes one day before World Oceans Day on June 8. More than 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year.

“There are many reasons it was so important for the Senate to pass this bill this session,” said David Ansel, vice president of water protection for Save the Sound. “First, it starts the clock on packaging reduction. This bill will cut plastic waste by 30 percent over the next 12 years—a significant reduction for a state that produces 15 million tons of waste every year. Only 5-6 percent of that waste gets recycled, leaving 14.25 million tons to wind up in landfills or incinerators, or too often polluting our parks, streets, sidewalks, and waterways. It’s too much for New York’s people and environments to handle, and the only way to avoid drowning in plastic waste is to reduce the amount of plastic packaging created in the first place.

“This is also an extender producer responsibility bill. The producers of packaging materials should be responsible for what materials they use in their packaging and the cost of cleaning it up. This bill puts the onus on producers to pay for the costs of disposing of those materials, thereby reducing costs for municipalities and incentivizing producers to innovate.

“We thank Senator Pete Harckham for his leadership and passionate defense of this bill on the floor today, and we urge the Assembly to pass its companion bill before ending the 2024 legislative session.”


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