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'Recycled Content Bill' advances in New Jersey

'Recycled Content Bill' advances in New Jersey

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A key component in the evolution of resource recycling has advanced in the State Legislature. A series of measures to require recycled content in products made or sold in New Jersey is now getting closer to reality.

Decades of poor decisions by governments and corporations have let recycling slip out of control due to the outsourcing of our waste resources to other countries and an “out of sight-out of mind” mentality. So, to make the commodities found in the recycling stream part of the manufacturing base of New Jersey again, this legislation will put some missing spokes back in the wheel of a “circular economy” !

Fewer virgin resources would be required to produce glass containers, paper products, rigid plastic products, and those plastic products that will still be permitted under the “Plastic Pollution Reduction Act.” That law has already begun to be implemented, regarding the use of plastic straws, and is scheduled to be fully in effect in May of 2022.

The Recycled Content Bill would ban the infamous “packing peanuts” made of EPS — expanded polystyrene. This bill is tagged as #A4676 in the state Assembly and #S2515 in the state Senate. It passed through the Assembly’s Appropriation Committee on Tuesday, Dec. 14. The next step will be for the full Assembly’s Environment and Solid Waste Committee to present it to the full body for a vote.

The amount of post-consumer resin (PSR) content required from recycled materials will vary, depending on the product. For example, some rigid plastics will be required to have 25% PSR content within two years and gradually increasing to 50% over the next few years. Other, thinner materials may be required to max out at 15% to 25% PSR depending on technological innovations. Much of this will also aim at using more standardized resins in products, as well as using one type of resin where possible in products to avoid problems during the recycling process.

While not a perfect solution to our waste problems, this bill will be a step in the right direction out of the unorganized mess we are in now.

Please contact your state Assembly and state Senate representatives to urge their support in getting this bill through the full legislature.

Go Green Galloway is a volunteer organization dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of Galloway through the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and the implementation of sustainable practices. We always welcome new volunteer members. Contact us at or call Mary at 609-742-7076. Also be sure to like our Facebook page.


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