Recycling organizations NRC, NEWMOA publish ‘Model Minimum Postconsumer Recycled Content Requirements for Plastic Products and Packaging Legislation,’ which provides a potential basis for state legislative action and encourages a circular economy

Sample article from our Packaging Industry

September 7, 2022 (press release) –

NERC and NEWMOA are pleased to announce the publication of Model Minimum Postconsumer Recycled Content Requirements for Plastic Products and Packaging Legislation. This Model is the result of two years’ worth of work by a group of state recycling officials from the northeast and incorporates many of the suggestions received from 36 organizations and individuals during a public comment period in early 2022. 

The working committee that drafted the Model was made of up state agency representatives and jointly facilitated by the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA). The views expressed in this Model do not necessarily reflect those of each of the NEWMOA-member states or NERC’s members.  Rather, it reflects a best effort based on current circumstances to provide a potential basis for state legislative action to further the use of postconsumer resin in plastic products and packaging.

This Model bill would require producers of covered plastic products and packaging to use a specified amount of minimum postconsumer recycled content, phased in over time. The covered plastic packaging and products include film bags, single-use containers used for food, beverages, household cleaning, and personal care products, and rigid plastic containers. This Model does not address all types of plastic products and packaging.

The Model legislative strategy encourages a circular economy in plastics. The other benefits of mandating minimum postconsumer recycled content in plastic products and packaging include conservation of resources, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts from producing plastics products from petroleum, strengthened domestic markets for products made with postconsumer plastics, and increased stability in the plastic scrap markets.

As 501(c)(3) organizations, neither NERC nor NEWMOA will lobby for this Model legislation. Rather, it is intended as a tool for interested organizations and legislators to consider when examining opportunities for the use of minimum postconsumer recycled content legislation and implementation for plastics.

Contact: Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director at Lynn@nerc.org; Terri Goldberg, NEWMOA Executive Director at tgoldberg@newmoa.org.

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