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State passes bill banning Styrofoam by 2024, and adding new recycling rules

Hundreds of recycled plastic water bottles are piled up inside the Recology recycling facility on March 15, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Styrofoam is out, and new recycling rules are on the way in a bill passed by the Legislature that hopes to help struggling recycling markets and the environment.

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The bill from Democratic Senator Mona Das requires plastic containers for drinks, household cleaners, and personal care items sold in the state to be made of up to 50% recycled content by 2031.

“To create a truly circular economy by using the items that we recycle into new bottles and bags,” she said about SB 5022.

But referencing the struggling recycling markets, Republican Keith Wagoner argued:

“We’ve got to look at other options where we don’t have to force an economy upon our manufactures and our people,” he said.

Das’ bill also bans the use of Styrofoam by 2024. You’ll also have to ask for that plastic straw or fork because businesses will no longer be allowed to just include them.

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Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign the bill.

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