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CSWS reports on legislation, offers database.

SPI's Council for Solid Waste Solutions (CSWS) reports that the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group has met the deadline for collecting signatures to place its packaging ban initiative before the state legislature for consideration and eventually on the November ballot. The student-based group characterized its effort as a "recycling initiative" designed to create markets for recycled goods. Actually, the proposal would ban all packaging-related materials that, by 1996, are not either (1) recycled at a 35% rate; (2) made from at least 50% recycled materials; or (3) reused a minimum of five times. The required recycling rate would increase to 50% in the year 2001. The CSWS is working with a newly formed industry coalition, the Massachusetts Committee for Responsible Management, to promote alternatives to the proposal.

Among other state and local legislative activity:

* In Connecticut, the West Hartford Town Council rejected a proposed ban on polystyrene packaging used for food service. An industry coalition had testified before the council in opposition to the ban, emphasizing the performance benefits and recyclability of polystyrene.

* The Coalition of Northeastern Governors has launched a campaign against toxins in packaging and is expected to push legislative bans in all Northeastern capitals in 1990. The proposal would ban, within two years, the sale of any packaging, packaging material, or product in packaging that contains inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, additives, or other components to which lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium has been intentionally added during the manufacturing process.

* A New Hampshire legislative study committee has rejected proposals for packaging fees and bans in favor of legislation establishing a waste-reduction task force and a study of solid waste fee programs. The proposed bill was to be referred to the House when the legislature reconvened in January.

* Last November, Florida's Environmental Review Commission deferred action on degradability regulations for food packaging made of polystyrene or plastic-coated paper until the state's Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) provides better definitions of what constitutes degradability for those packaging products. The DER was expected to submit a new proposal during the first quarter of this year. The CSWS is monitoring the development of the Degradable Materials Rule by the DER.

* In California, the Palo Alto City Council has passed an ordinance requiring retailers to provide their customers with only paper bags or to offer them a choice of paper or plastic.

The CSWS has also announced that it is offering subscriptions to an extensive computer database, the CSWS Resource Center, which provides users with late-breaking news and legislative developments involving plastics and solid waste management.

More information on the database and its related services can be obtained by writing CSWS Resource Center, Council for Solid Waste Solutions, 1275 K Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005.
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Title Annotation:Council for Solid Waste Solutions
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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