Chapter 70A.245 RCW

RECYCLING, WASTE, AND LITTER REDUCTION

Sections

HTMLPDF 70A.245.010Definitions.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.020Postconsumer recycled content.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.030Producer reporting requirements.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.040Penalties for postconsumer recycled content requirementsPenalty.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.050Penalties for registration, labeling, and reporting.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.060Trash bag labeling requirements.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.070Expanded polystyrene prohibitionsPenalty.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.080Optional servicewarePenalty.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.090Department dutiesRule making.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.100Recycling enhancement account.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.110Recycled content account.
HTMLPDF 70A.245.120Market study.


Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Beverage" means beverages identified in (a) through (f) of this subsection, intended for human or animal consumption, and in a quantity more than or equal to two fluid ounces and less than or equal to one gallon:
(a) Water and flavored water;
(b) Beer or other malt beverages;
(c) Wine;
(d) Distilled spirits;
(e) Mineral water, soda water, and similar carbonated soft drinks; and
(f) Any beverage other than those specified in (a) through (e) of this subsection, except infant formula as defined in 21 U.S.C. Sec. 321(z), medical food as defined in 21 U.S.C. Sec. 360ee(b)(3), or fortified oral nutritional supplements used for persons who require supplemental or sole source nutritional needs due to special dietary needs directly related to cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, or other medical conditions as determined by the department.
(2) "Beverage manufacturing industry" means an association that represents beverage producers.
(3) "Condiment packaging" means packaging used to deliver single-serving condiments to customers. Condiment packaging includes, but is not limited to, single-serving packaging for ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, hot sauce, coffee creamer, salad dressing, jelly, jam, and soy sauce.
(4)(a) "Covered product" means an item in one of the following categories subject to minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements:
(i) Plastic trash bags;
(ii) Household cleaning and personal care products that use plastic household cleaning and personal care product containers; and
(iii) Beverages that use plastic beverage containers.
(b) "Covered product" does not include any type of container or bag for which the state is preempted from regulating content of the container material or bag material under federal law.
(5) "Dairy milk" means a beverage that designates milk as the predominant (first) ingredient in the ingredient list on the container's label.
(6) "Department" means the department of ecology.
(7) "Expanded polystyrene" means blown polystyrene and expanded and extruded foams that are thermoplastic petrochemical materials utilizing a styrene monomer and processed by any number of techniques including, but not limited to, fusion of polymer spheres (expandable bead polystyrene), injection molding, foam molding, and extrusion-blow molding (extruded foam polystyrene).
(8) "Food service business" means a business selling or providing food for consumption on or off the premises, and includes full-service restaurants, fast food restaurants, cafes, delicatessens, coffee shops, grocery stores, vending trucks or carts, home delivery services, delivery services provided through an online application, and business or institutional cafeterias.
(9) "Food service product" means a product intended for one-time use and used for food or drink offered for sale or use. Food service products include, but are not limited to, containers, plates, bowls, cups, lids, beverage containers, meat trays, deli rounds, utensils, sachets, straws, condiment packaging, clamshells and other hinged or lidded containers, wrap, and portion cups.
(10) "Household cleaning and personal care product" means any of the following:
(a) Laundry detergents, softeners, and stain removers;
(b) Household cleaning products;
(c) Liquid soap;
(d) Shampoo, conditioner, styling sprays and gels, and other hair care products; or
(e) Lotion, moisturizer, facial toner, and other skin care products.
(11) "Household cleaning and personal care product manufacturing industry" means an association that represents companies that manufacture household cleaning and personal care products.
(12) "Licensee" means a manufacturer or entity who licenses a brand and manufactures a covered product under that brand.
(13) "Oral nutritional supplement" means a manufactured liquid, powder capable of being reconstituted, or solid product that contains a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals intended to supplement a portion of a patient's nutrition intake.
(14) "Plastic beverage container" means a bottle or other rigid container that is capable of maintaining its shape when empty, comprised solely of one or multiple plastic resins designed to contain a beverage. Plastic beverage container does not include:
(a) Refillable beverage containers, such as containers that are sufficiently durable for multiple rotations of their original or similar purpose and are intended to function in a system of reuse;
(b) Rigid plastic containers or plastic bottles that are or are used for medical devices, medical products that are required to be sterile, nonprescription and prescription drugs, or dietary supplements as defined in RCW 82.08.0293;
(c) Bladders or pouches that contain wine; or
(d) Liners, caps, corks, closures, labels, and other items added externally or internally but otherwise separate from the structure of the bottle or container.
(15)(a) "Plastic household cleaning and personal care product container" means a bottle, jug, or other rigid container with a neck or mouth narrower than the base, and:
(i) A minimum capacity of eight fluid ounces or its equivalent volume;
(ii) A maximum capacity of five fluid gallons or its equivalent volume;
(iii) That is capable of maintaining its shape when empty;
(iv) Comprised solely of one or multiple plastic resins; and
(v) Containing a household cleaning or personal care product.
(b) "Plastic household cleaning and personal care product container" does not include:
(i) Refillable household cleaning and personal care product containers, such as containers that are sufficiently durable for multiple rotations of their original or similar purpose and are intended to function in a system of reuse; and
(ii) Rigid plastic containers or plastic bottles that are medical devices, medical products that are required to be sterile, and nonprescription and prescription drugs, dietary supplements as defined in RCW 82.08.0293, and packaging used for those products.
(16) "Plastic trash bag" means a bag that is made of noncompostable plastic, is at least 0.70 mils thick, and is designed and manufactured for use as a container to hold, store, or transport materials to be discarded or recycled, and includes, but is not limited to, a garbage bag, recycling bag, lawn or leaf bag, can liner bag, kitchen bag, or compactor bag. "Plastic trash bag" does not include any compostable bags meeting the requirements of chapter 70A.455 RCW.
(17) "Plastic trash bag manufacturing industry" means an association that represents companies that manufacture plastic trash bags.
(18) "Postconsumer recycled content" means the content of a covered product made of recycled materials derived specifically from recycled material generated by households or by commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities in their role as end users of a product that can no longer be used for its intended purpose. "Postconsumer recycled content" includes returns of material from the distribution chain.
(19)(a) "Producer" means the following person responsible for compliance with minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements under this chapter for a covered product sold, offered for sale, or distributed in or into this state:
(i) If the covered product is sold under the manufacturer's own brand or lacks identification of a brand, the producer is the person who manufactures the covered product;
(ii) If the covered product is manufactured by a person other than the brand owner, the producer is the person who is the licensee of a brand or trademark under which a covered product is sold, offered for sale, or distributed in or into this state, whether or not the trademark is registered in this state, unless the manufacturer or brand owner of the covered product has agreed to accept responsibility under this chapter; or
(iii) If there is no person described in (a)(i) and (ii) of this subsection over whom the state can constitutionally exercise jurisdiction, the producer is the person who imports or distributes the covered product in or into the state.
(b) "Producer" does not include:
(i) Government agencies, municipalities, or other political subdivisions of the state;
(ii) Registered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations and 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations; or
(iii) De minimis producers that annually sell, offer for sale, distribute, or import in or into the country for sale in Washington:
(A) Less than one ton of a single category of plastic beverage containers, plastic household cleaning and personal care containers, or plastic trash bags each year; or
(B) A single category of a covered product that in aggregate generates less than $1,000,000 each year in revenue.
(20)(a) "Retail establishment" means any person, corporation, partnership, business, facility, vendor, organization, or individual that sells or provides merchandise, goods, or materials directly to a customer.
(b) "Retail establishment" includes, but is not limited to, food service businesses, grocery stores, department stores, hardware stores, home delivery services, pharmacies, liquor stores, restaurants, catering trucks, convenience stores, or other retail stores or vendors, including temporary stores or vendors at farmers markets, street fairs, and festivals.
(21)(a) "Utensil" means a product designed to be used by a consumer to facilitate the consumption of food or beverages, including knives, forks, spoons, cocktail picks, chopsticks, splash sticks, and stirrers.
(b) "Utensil" does not include plates, bowls, cups, and other products used to contain food or beverages.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: "(1) The legislature finds that minimum recycled content requirements for plastic beverage containers, trash bags, and household cleaning and personal care product containers, bans on problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging, and standards for customer opt-in for food service packaging and accessories are among actions needed to improve the state's recycling system as well as reduce litter.
(2) By implementing a minimum recycled content requirement for plastic beverage containers, trash bags, and household cleaning and personal care product containers; prohibiting the sale and distribution of certain expanded polystyrene products; and establishing optional serviceware requirements as provided for in this chapter; the legislature intends to take another step towards ensuring plastic packaging and other packaging materials are reduced, recycled, and reused." [ 2021 c 313 § 1.]



Postconsumer recycled content.

(1)(a) Beginning January 1, 2023, producers that offer for sale, sell, or distribute in or into Washington:
(i) Beverages other than wine in 187 milliliter plastic beverage containers and dairy milk in plastic beverage containers must meet minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements established under subsection (4) of this section; and
(ii) Plastic trash bags must meet minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements established under subsection (6) of this section.
(b) Beginning January 1, 2025, producers that offer for sale, sell, or distribute in or into Washington household cleaning and personal care products in plastic household cleaning and personal care product containers must meet minimum postconsumer recycled content as required under subsection (5) of this section.
(c) Beginning January 1, 2028, producers that offer for sale, sell, or distribute in or into Washington wine in 187 milliliter plastic beverage containers or dairy milk in plastic beverage containers must meet minimum postconsumer recycled content as required under subsection (4) of this section.
(2)(a) On or before April 1, 2022, and annually thereafter, a producer that offers for sale, sells, or distributes in or into Washington covered products must register with the department individually or through a third-party representative registering on behalf of a group of producers.
(b) The registration information submitted to the department under this section must include a list of the producers of covered products and the brand names of the covered products represented in the registration submittal. Beginning April 1, 2024, for plastic trash bags and plastic beverage containers other than wine in 187 milliliter plastic beverage containers and dairy milk in plastic beverage containers, April 1, 2026, for plastic household and personal care product containers, and April 1, 2029, for wine in 187 milliliter plastic beverage containers and dairy milk, a producer may submit registration information at the same time as the information submitted through the annual reporting required under RCW 70A.245.030.
(3)(a) By January 31, 2022, and every January 31st thereafter, the department must:
(i) Prepare an annual workload analysis for public comment that identifies the annual costs it expects to incur to implement, administer, and enforce this section and RCW 70A.245.030 through 70A.245.060 and 70A.245.090 (1), (2), and (4), including rule making, in the next fiscal year for each category of covered products;
(ii) Determine a total annual fee payment by producers or their third-party representatives for each category of covered products that is adequate to cover, but not exceed, the workload identified in (a)(i) of this subsection;
(iii) Until rules are adopted under (a)(iv) of this subsection, issue a general order to all entities falling within the definition of producer. The department must equitably determine fee amounts for an individual producer or third-party representatives within each category of covered product;
(iv) By 2024, adopt rules to equitably determine annual fee payments by producers or their third-party representatives within each category of covered product. Once such rules are adopted, the general order issued under (a)(iii) of this subsection is no longer effective; and
(v) Send notice to producers or their third-party representatives of fee amounts due consistent with either the general order issued under (a)(iii) of this subsection or rules adopted under (a)(iv) of this subsection.
(b) The department must:
(i) Apply any remaining annual payment funds from the current year to the annual payment for the coming year, if the collected annual payment exceeds the department's costs for a given year; and
(ii) Increase annual payments for the coming year to cover the department's costs, if the collected annual payment was less than the department's costs for a given year.
(c) By April 1, 2022, and every April 1st thereafter, producers or their third-party representative must submit a fee payment as determined by the department under (a) of this subsection.
(4) A producer of a beverage in a plastic beverage container must meet the following annual minimum postconsumer recycled content percentage on average for the total quantity of plastic beverage containers, by weight, that are sold, offered for sale, or distributed in or into Washington by the producer effective:
(a) For beverages except wine in 187 milliliter plastic beverage containers and dairy milk:
(i) January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2025: No less than 15 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight;
(ii) January 1, 2026, through December 31, 2030: No less than 25 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight; and
(iii) On and after January 1, 2031: No less than 50 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight.
(b) For wine in 187 milliliter plastic beverage containers and dairy milk:
(i) January 1, 2028, through December 31, 2030: No less than 15 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight;
(ii) January 1, 2031, through December 31, 2035: No less than 25 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight; and
(iii) On and after January 1, 2036: No less than 50 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight.
(5) A producer of household cleaning and personal care products in plastic containers must meet the following annual minimum postconsumer recycled content percentage on average for the total quantity of plastic containers, by weight, that are sold, offered for sale, or distributed in or into Washington by the producer effective:
(a) January 1, 2025, through December 31, 2027: No less than 15 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight;
(b) January 1, 2028, through December 31, 2030: No less than 25 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight; and
(c) On and after January 1, 2031: No less than 50 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight.
(6) A producer of plastic trash bags must meet the following annual minimum postconsumer recycled content percentage on average for the total quantity of plastic trash bags, by weight, that are sold, offered for sale, or distributed in or into Washington by the producer effective:
(a) January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2024: No less than 10 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight;
(b) January 1, 2025, through December 31, 2026: No less than 15 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight; and
(c) On and after January 1, 2027: No less than 20 percent postconsumer recycled content plastic by weight.
(7)(a) Beginning January 1, 2024, or when rule making is complete, whichever is sooner, the department may, on an annual basis on January 1st, review and determine for the following year whether to adjust the minimum postconsumer recycled content percentage required for a type of container or product or category of covered products pursuant to subsection (4), (5), or (6) of this section. The department's review may be initiated by the department or at the petition of a producer or a covered product manufacturing industry not more than once annually. When submitting a petition, producers or a producer manufacturing industry must provide necessary information that will allow the department to make a determination under (b) of this subsection.
(b) In making a determination pursuant to this subsection, the department must consider, at a minimum, all of the following factors:
(i) Changes in market conditions, including supply and demand for postconsumer recycled content plastics, collection rates, and bale availability both domestically and globally;
(ii) Recycling rates;
(iii) The availability of recycled plastic suitable to meet the minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements pursuant to subsection (4), (5), or (6) of this section, including the availability of high quality recycled plastic, and food-grade recycled plastic from recycling programs;
(iv) The capacity of recycling or processing infrastructure;
(v) The technical feasibility of achieving the minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements in covered products that are regulated under 21 C.F.R., chapter I, subchapter G, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 136, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1471-1477, 49 C.F.R. Sec. 178.33b, 49 C.F.R. Sec. 173, 40 C.F.R. Sec. 152.10, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1261-1278, 49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq., 49 C.F.R. Sec. 178.509, 49 C.F.R. Sec. 179.522, 49 C.F.R. Sec. 178.600-609, and other federal laws; and
(vi) The progress made by producers in achieving the goals of this section.
(c) Under (a) of this subsection:
(i) The department may not adjust the minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements above the minimum postconsumer recycled content percentages for the year under review required pursuant to subsection (4), (5), or (6) of this section.
(ii) For plastic household cleaning and personal care product containers, the department may not adjust the minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements above the minimum postconsumer recycled content percentages for the year under review required pursuant to subsection (5) of this section or below a minimum of 10 percent.
(iii) For plastic trash bags, the department may not adjust the minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements above the minimum postconsumer recycled content percentages for the year under review required pursuant to subsection (6) of this section or below the minimum percentage required in subsection (6)(a) of this section.
(d) A producer or the manufacturing industry for a covered product may appeal a decision by the department to adjust postconsumer recycled content percentages under (a) of this subsection or to temporarily exclude covered products from minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements under subsection (8) of this section to the pollution control hearings board within 30 days of the department's determination.
(8) The department must temporarily exclude from minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements for the upcoming year any types of covered products in plastic containers for which a producer annually demonstrates to the department by December 31st of a given year that the achievement of postconsumer recycled content requirements in the container material is not technically feasible in order to comply with health or safety requirements of federal law, including the federal laws specified in subsection (7)(b)(v) of this section. A producer must continue to register and report consistent with the requirements of this chapter for covered products temporarily excluded from minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements under this subsection.
(9) A producer that does not achieve the postconsumer recycled content requirements established under this section is subject to penalties established in RCW 70A.245.040.
(10)(a) A city, town, county, or municipal corporation may not implement local recycled content requirements for a covered product that is subject to minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements established in this section.
(b) A city, town, county, or municipal corporation may establish local purchasing requirements that include recycled content standards that exceed the minimum recycled content requirements established by this chapter for plastic household cleaning and personal care product containers or plastic trash bags purchased by a city, town, or municipal corporation, or its contractor.
(11) The department may enter into contracts for the services required to implement this chapter and related duties of the department.
(12) In-state distributors, wholesalers, and retailers in possession of covered products manufactured before the date that postconsumer recycled content requirements become effective may exhaust their existing stock through sales to the public.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Producer reporting requirements.

(1)(a) Except as provided in (b) and (c) of this subsection, beginning April 1, 2024, each producer of covered products, individually or through a third party representing a group of producers, must provide an annual report to the department that includes the amount in pounds of virgin plastic and the amount in pounds of postconsumer recycled content by resin type used for each category of covered products that are sold, offered for sale, or distributed in or into Washington state, including the total postconsumer recycled content resins as a percentage of total weight. The report must be submitted in a format and manner prescribed by the department. A manufacturer may submit national data allocated on a per capita basis for Washington to approximate the information required in this subsection if the producer or third-party representative demonstrates to the department that state level data are not available or feasible to generate.
(b) The requirements of (a) of this subsection apply to household cleaning and personal care products in plastic containers beginning April 1, 2026.
(c) The requirements of (a) of this subsection apply to wine in 187 milliliter plastic beverage containers and dairy milk in plastic beverage containers beginning April 1, 2029.
(d) The department must post the information reported under this subsection on its website, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) A producer that submits information or records to the department under this chapter may request that the information or records be made available only for the confidential use of the department, the director, or the appropriate division of the department. The director of the department must give consideration to the request and if this action is not detrimental to the public interest and is otherwise in accordance with the policies and purposes of chapter  43.21A RCW, the director must grant the request for the information to remain confidential as authorized in RCW  43.21A.160.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Penalties for postconsumer recycled content requirementsPenalty.

(1)(a) A producer that does not meet the minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements pursuant to RCW 70A.245.020 is subject to a penalty pursuant to this section. Beginning June 1st of the year following the first year that minimum postconsumer recycled product content requirements apply to a category of covered product, the penalty must be calculated consistent with subsection (2) of this section unless a penalty reduction or corrective action plan has been approved pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.
(b) A producer that is assessed a penalty pursuant to this section may pay the penalty to the department in one payment, in quarterly installments, or arrange an alternative payment schedule subject to the approval of the department, not to exceed a 12-month payment schedule unless the department determines an extension is needed due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a public health emergency, state of emergency, or natural disaster.
(2) Beginning June 1st of the year following the first year that minimum postconsumer recycled product content requirements apply to a category of covered product, and annually thereafter, the department shall determine the penalty for the previous calendar year based on the postconsumer recycled content requirement of the previous calendar year. The department shall calculate the amount of the penalty based upon the amounts in pounds in the aggregate of virgin plastic, postconsumer recycled content plastic, and any other plastic per category used by the producer to produce covered products sold or offered for sale in or into Washington state, in accordance with the following:
(a)(i) The annual penalty amount assessed to a producer must equal the product of both of the following: The total pounds of plastic used per category multiplied by the relevant minimum postconsumer recycled plastic target percentage, less the pounds of total plastic multiplied by the percent of postconsumer recycled plastic used; multiplied by 20 cents.
(ii) Example: [(Total pounds of plastic used x minimum postconsumer recycled plastic target percentage) – (Total pounds of plastic used x postconsumer recycled plastic percentage used)] x 20 cents.
(b) For the purposes of (a) of this subsection, both of the following apply:
(i) The total pounds of plastic used must equal the sum of the amount of virgin plastic, postconsumer recycled content plastic, and any other plastic used by the producer, as reported pursuant to RCW 70A.245.030.
(ii) If the product calculated pursuant to (a) of this subsection is equal to or less than zero, the department may not assess a penalty.
(3)(a)(i) The department shall consider granting a reduction of penalties assessed pursuant to this section for the purpose of meeting the minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements required pursuant to RCW 70A.245.020.
(ii) In determining whether to grant the reduction pursuant to (a)(i) of this subsection, the department shall consider, at a minimum, all of the following factors:
(A) Anomalous market conditions;
(B) Disruption in, or lack of supply of, recycled plastics; and
(C) Other factors that have prevented a producer from meeting the requirements.
(b) In lieu of or in addition to assessing a penalty under this section, the department may require a producer to submit a corrective action plan detailing how the producer plans to come into compliance with RCW 70A.245.020.
(4) For the purposes of determining compliance with the postconsumer recycled content requirements of this chapter, the department may consider the date of manufacture of a covered product or the container of a covered product.
(5) A producer shall pay the penalty assessed pursuant to this section, as applicable, based on the information reported to the department as required under RCW 70A.245.030 in the form and manner prescribed by the department.
(6) A producer may appeal the penalty assessed under this section to the pollution control hearings board within 30 days of assessment.
(7) Penalties collected under this section must be deposited in the recycling enhancement account created in RCW 70A.245.100.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Penalties for registration, labeling, and reporting.

(1) For producers out of compliance with the registration, reporting, or labeling requirements of RCW 70A.245.020, 70A.245.030, or 70A.245.060, the department shall provide written notification and offer information to producers. For the purposes of this section, written notification serves as notice of the violation. The department must issue at least two notices of violation by certified mail prior to assessing a penalty under subsection (2) of this section.
(2) A producer in violation of the registration, reporting, or labeling requirements in RCW 70A.245.020, 70A.245.030, or 70A.245.060 is subject to a civil penalty for each day of violation in an amount not to exceed $1,000.
(3) Penalties collected under this section must be deposited in the recycling enhancement account created in RCW 70A.245.100.
(4) Penalties issued under this section are appealable to the pollution control hearings board established in chapter 43.21B RCW.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Trash bag labeling requirements.

(1) Beginning January 1, 2023, producers shall label each package containing plastic trash bags sold, offered for sale, or distributed in or into Washington with:
(a) The name of the producer and the city, state, and country where the producer is located, which may be designated as the location of the producer's corporate headquarters; or
(b) A uniform resource locator or quick response code to an internet website that contains the information required pursuant to (a) of this subsection.
(2)(a) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not apply to a plastic bag that is designed and manufactured to hold, store, or transport dangerous waste or biomedical waste.
(b) For the purposes of this subsection:
(i) "Biomedical waste" means any waste defined as that term under RCW 70A.228.010; and
(ii) "Dangerous waste" means any waste defined as dangerous wastes under RCW 70A.300.010.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Expanded polystyrene prohibitionsPenalty.

(1)(a) Beginning June 1, 2024, the sale and distribution of the following expanded polystyrene products in or into Washington state is prohibited:
(i) A portable container that is designed or intended to be used for cold storage, except for expanded polystyrene containers used for drugs, medical devices, and biological materials as defined in the federal food, drug, and cosmetic act (21 U.S.C. Sec. 301 et seq.) or shipping perishable commodities from a wholesale or retail establishment; and
(ii) Food service products that include food containers, plates, clam shell-style containers, and hot and cold beverage cups. For the purposes of this subsection (1)(a)(ii), food service products do not include: Packaging for raw, uncooked, or butchered meat, fish, poultry, or seafood, vegetables, fruit, or egg cartons.
(b) Beginning June 1, 2023, the sale and distribution of expanded polystyrene void filling packaging products, which means loose fill packaging material, also referred to as packing peanuts, in or into Washington state is prohibited.
(2)(a) The department must provide technical assistance and guidance to manufacturers of prohibited expanded polystyrene products, upon request. For manufacturers out of compliance with the requirements of this section, the department shall provide written notification and offer information to manufacturers that sell prohibited expanded polystyrene products who are in violation of this section. For the purposes of this section, written notification serves as notice of the violation. The department must issue at least two notices of violation by certified mail prior to assessing a penalty.
(b) A manufacturer of products in violation of this section is subject to a civil penalty for each violation in an amount not to exceed:
(i) $250 if it is the manufacturer's first penalty; and
(ii) $1,000 if the manufacturer has previously been issued a civil penalty under this section.
(c) Penalties collected under this section must be deposited in the model toxics control operating account created in RCW 70A.305.180.
(d) Penalties issued under this section are appealable to the pollution control hearings board established in chapter 43.21B RCW.
(3) A city, town, county, or municipal corporation may not implement a local ordinance restricting products prohibited under subsection (1) of this section unless the ordinance was filed by April 1, 2021, and enacted by June 1, 2021. An ordinance restricting products prohibited under subsection (1) of this section that was not enacted as of June 1, 2021, is preempted by this section.
(4) For the purposes of this section, "manufacturer" includes any person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, governmental entity, organization, or joint venture that:
(a) Produces the products subject to restrictions in subsection (1) of this section; or
(b) Is an importer or domestic distributor of a product subject to restrictions in subsection (1) of this section sold or offered for sale in or into the state.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Optional servicewarePenalty.

(1) Beginning January 1, 2022:
(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a food service business may provide the following single use food service products only after affirming that the customer wants the item or items:
(i) Utensils;
(ii) Straws;
(iii) Condiment packaging; and
(iv) Beverage cup lids.
(b) A food service business may provide beverage cup lids without customer affirmation for:
(i) Hot beverages;
(ii) Beverages provided through delivery service or curbside pickup; and
(iii) Beverages served to customers via a drive through or at large, permanent, venues that are designed for professional sport or music events and that have a fixed-seat capacity of at least 2,500 customers and are enclosed or are surrounded by a perimeter fence.
(c) The requirements of this section do not apply to food service products provided to a patient, resident, or customer in:
(i) A health care facility or a health care provider as defined in RCW 70.02.010;
(ii) Long-term care facilities identified in RCW 18.51.010, 18.20.020, 70.128.010, 70.97.010, or 18.390.010;
(iii) Senior nutrition programs authorized under 45 C.F.R. Sec. 1321, and home delivered meals offered under chapters 74.39 and 74.39A RCW;
(iv) Services to individuals with developmental disabilities under Title 71A RCW and chapter 74.39A RCW; and
(v) State hospitals as defined in RCW 72.23.010.
(d) The requirements of this subsection (1) apply to the activities of the department of corrections and the department of children, youth, and families only to the extent operationally feasible and practicable.
(2)(a) Nothing in this section prohibits a food service business from making utensils, straws, condiments, and beverage cup lids available to customers using cylinders, bins, dispensers, containers, or other means of allowing for single-use utensils, straws, condiments, and beverage cup lids to be obtained at the affirmative volition of the customer.
(b) Utensils provided by a food service business for use by customers may not be bundled or packaged in plastic in such a way that a customer is unable to take only the type of single-use utensil or utensils desired without also taking a different type or types of utensil.
(3)(a) The department may issue a civil penalty of no less than $150 per day and no more than $2,000 per day to the owner or operator of a food service business for each day single-use food service products are provided in violation of this section.
(b) The department must issue at least two notices of violation by certified mail prior to assessing a penalty.
(c) Penalties collected under this section must be deposited in the model toxics control operating account created in RCW 70A.305.180.
(d) A food service business may appeal penalties assessed under this subsection to the pollution control hearings board within 30 days of assessment.
(4) All food service businesses are encouraged, but not required, to take actions in addition to the requirements of this section that support a goal of reducing the use of and waste generated by single-use food service products.
(5) Beginning July 1, 2021, a city, town, county, or municipal corporation may not enact an ordinance to reduce pollution from single-use food service products by requiring affirmation that a customer wants single-use food service products from the customer of the food service business or other retail establishment.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Department dutiesRule making.

(1) The department may conduct audits and investigations for the purpose of ensuring compliance with RCW 70A.245.020 and 70A.245.040 based on the information reported under RCW 70A.245.030.
(2) The department shall annually publish a list of registered producers of covered products and associated brand names, their compliance status, and other information the department deems appropriate on the department's website.
(3) To assist regulated parties with the requirements specified under RCW 70A.245.070 and 70A.245.080, the department:
(a) Must prepare and post on its website information regarding the prohibitions on the sale and distribution of expanded polystyrene products as specified under RCW 70A.245.070 and restrictions on the provision of optional serviceware under RCW 70A.245.080;
(b) For education and outreach to help implement RCW 70A.245.070 and 70A.245.080, may develop culturally appropriate and translated educational materials and resources for the state's diverse ethnic populations from existing materials used by local jurisdictions and other states.
(4) The department may adopt rules as necessary to administer, implement, and enforce this chapter.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Recycling enhancement account.

The recycling enhancement account is created in the custody of the state treasurer. All penalties collected by the department pursuant to RCW 70A.245.040 and 70A.245.050 must be deposited in the account. Only the director of the department or the director's designee may authorize expenditures from the account. The account is subject to the allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW, but an appropriation is not required for expenditures. Expenditures from the account may be used by the department only for providing grants to local governments for the purpose of supporting local solid waste and financial assistance programs.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Recycled content account.

The recycled content account is created in the custody of the state treasurer. All receipts received by the department under RCW 70A.245.020 must be deposited in the account. Only the director of the department or the director's designee may authorize expenditures from the account. The account is subject to the allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW, but an appropriation is not required for expenditures. Expenditures from the account may be used by the department only for implementing, administering, and enforcing the requirements of RCW 70A.245.020 through 70A.245.060 and 70A.245.090 (1), (2), and (4).

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.



Market study. (Expires July 1, 2029.)

(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose prior to January 1, 2028, the department shall contract with a research university or an independent third-party consultant to study the plastic resin markets for all of the following:
(a) Analyzing market conditions and opportunities in the state's recycling industry for meeting the minimum postconsumer recycled content requirements for covered products pursuant to RCW 70A.245.020 and 70A.245.030; and
(b) Determining the data needs and tracking opportunities to increase the transparency and support of a more effective, fact-based public understanding of the recycling industry.
(2) If funding is provided pursuant to subsection (1) of this section and the department undertakes the study, the study must be completed by May 1, 2029.
(3) This section expires July 1, 2029.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2021 c 313: See note following RCW 70A.245.010.