New Jersey made history in 2020, and it was in no way related to the current pandemic. This past November, Governor Murphy signed into law the toughest plastics bill nationwide. We have the opportunity to keep the momentum going into 2021. The Recycled Content Bill (S-2515) was originally introduced in June. The bill, which establishes post consumer recycled content requirements for rigid plastic containers, glass containers, paper and plastic carryout bags, and plastic trash bags; prohibits sale of polystyrene loose fill packaging, was presented to the Senate Environment & Energy Committee on December 10th where it received a favorable decision pending revisions.

Two years after the bill’s effective date, all rigid plastic containers sold, offered for sale, or used in association with the sale or offer for sale of a product in the State by a manufacturer would be required to contain, on average, at least 25 percent post-consumer recycled content. Beginning five years after the effective date, and every three years thereafter, the percentage of post-consumer recycled content required for rigid plastic containers would increase by five percent, until reaching 50 percent. The bill provides exemptions from the post-consumer recycled content requirements for several types of rigid plastic containers. Under the bill, separate requirements would apply to plastic beverage containers. Specifically, beginning two years after the bill’s effective date, all plastic beverage containers sold or offered for sale in the State by a manufacturer would be required to contain, on average, at least 15 percent post-consumer recycled content. Beginning five years after the bill’s effective date, and every three years thereafter, the percentage of post-consumer recycled content required would increase by five percent until reaching 50 percent. The recycled content requirements for plastic beverage containers would not apply to refillable beverage containers.

For complete bill language, click here.

The bill’s next stop is the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee at a date to be determined. In the meantime, we are urging everyone to contact the committee and tell them you support the bill using the contact information below. This is another great opportunity for New Jersey to be pioneers in environmental reform.

Senator Paul Sarlo  (201) 804-8118 | Sensarlo@njleg.org
Senator Sandra B. Cunningham  (201) 451-5100 | Sencunningham@njleg.org
Senator Dawn Marie Addiego  (609) 654-1498 | Senaddiego@njleg.org
Senator Nilsa I. Cruz-Perez  (856) 541-1251 | Sencrusperez@njleg.org
Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (908) 757-1677 | Sendiegnan@njleg.org
Senator Linda R. Greenstein  (609) 395-9911 | Sengreenstein@njleg.org
Senator Declan J. O’Scanlon Jr  (732) 444-1838 | Senosclanon@njleg.oreg
Senator Steven V. Oroho  (908) 441-6343 | Senoroho@njleg.org
Senator M. Teresa Ruiz  (973) 484-1000 | Senruiz@njleg.org
Senator Troy Singleton  (856) 234-2790 | Sensingleton@njleg.org
Senator Michael L. Testa Jr.  (609) 778-2012 | Sentesta@njleg.org