Increase the use of recycled content in garbage bags and grocery bags


The Below co-signatories recommend:

Whether it be accomplished through legislation or procurement policy, we recommend increasing the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in garbage bags and plastic carryout bags to at least 20% by 2025. In order to meet this goal, we proposed a stepped timeline for both garbage bags (10% by 2020, 15% by 2022, 20% by 2024) and plastic carryout bags (10% by 2021, 15% by 2023, 20% by 2025).

 This recommendation specifically encourages the use of “post-consumer” recycled content, which includes plastic that was used by a consumer for its intended purpose. There are a number of sources of post-consumer film including plastic bags brought back to a store drop-off, plastic bags sorted at a material recovery facility, agricultural film, boat wrap and post-commercial pallet wrap. We recommend verifying the use of PCR content through a third-party certification firm. Post-industrial recycled content produced as a by-product of manufacturing operations should not be included in this definition.

 Again, we believe these recommended actions will help address several key issues. We believe commitments to a recycled content minimum will:

  • Lessen reliance on export markets for recyclables produced in North America,

  • Reduce carbon emissions by replacing the use of virgin plastic,

  • Reduce plastic litter by enhancing plastics’ value throughout its full life cycle, and

  • Boost the development of a lasting circular economy in North America.