Bill Text: NJ SCR137 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Urges DEP and EDA to establish plastics recycling marketplace.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-2)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-02-14 - Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading [SCR137 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-SCR137-Introduced.html

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 137

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges DEP and EDA to establish plastics recycling marketplace.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution urging the Department of Environmental Protection and the Economic Development Authority to establish a plastics recycling marketplace.

 

Whereas, Single-use plastics are defined as plastic packaging and other consumer products made out of plastic that are designed to be used once and thrown away after a brief use, and include bottles, cups, plastic lids, bags, plates, utensils, straws, stirrers, swabs, food containers, plastic film wraps, and plastic packaging; and

Whereas, Americans purchase 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging 13 bottles per month per person; and

Whereas, Additionally, 100 billion plastic bags and 25 billion styrofoam plastic coffee cups are thrown away by Americans each year, which averages to 307 plastic bags and 77 cups per person per year; and

Whereas, Not all single-use plastic waste reaches landfills, permanent disposal facilities, or is recycled; and

Whereas, New Jersey's current post-consumer plastics recycling rates vary between six to nine percent, however, although some calculations indicate recycling rates maybe around 13 percent; and

Whereas, Mismanaged single-use plastic waste may block drainage systems, release toxic fumes if burned, become land pollution, and contaminate the food chain; and

Whereas, Further, unrecycled plastics are disposed of in landfills, dumpsites, incinerators, or end up in waterways and oceans where they will remain for hundreds or even thousands of years; and

Whereas, Furthermore, plastic released in the environment typically does not biodegrade, but instead breaks into smaller pieces, called microplastics, which continue to accumulate in the natural environment; and

Whereas, There is evidence that microplastic pollution can move through natural food webs and accumulate in fin fish and shellfish tissues, which means microplastics and associated pollutants have the potential to move into the human food chain; and

Whereas, The accumulation of single-use plastics in our environment is dangerous for the residents of this State, marine wildlife, and the environment, creates visual pollution, and impacts tourism, fishing, and shipping industries; and

Whereas, Efficient research needs to be conducted for the development of technologies to reuse or transform single-use plastic waste into useful products and create a marketplace for the massive volume of single-use plastics; and

Whereas, It is imperative to develop a single-use plastics recycling marketplace in order to divert single use plastics from our environment, including from our oceans and landfills; now, therefore,

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

 

     1.    The Legislature respectfully urges the Department of Environmental Protection to utilize monies from the State Recycling Fund, established pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1981, c.278 (C.13:1E-96), to conduct the necessary research for the development of a plastics recycling marketplace in the State in order to increase the volume of single-use plastics being recycled in the State and decrease the amount of these plastics from entering into our natural environment.

 

     2.    The Legislature respectfully urges the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to take steps to encourage and provide funding to establish a plastics recycling marketplace in the State in order to reduce the presence of single-use plastics in our natural environment.  

 

     3.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Governor, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and to the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This concurrent resolution respectfully urges the Department of Environmental Protection to utilize monies from the State Recycling Fund to conduct the necessary research for the development of a plastics recycling marketplace in the State in order to increase the volume of single-use plastics being recycled in the State and decrease the amount of these plastics from entering into our natural environment.  In addition, the Legislature respectfully urges the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to take steps to encourage and provide funding to establish a plastics recycling marketplace in the State in order to reduce the presence of single-use plastics in our natural environment. 

     Single-use plastics are defined as plastic packaging and other consumer products made out of plastic that are designed to be used once and thrown away after a brief use, and include bottles, cups, plastic lids, bags, plates, utensils, straws, stirrers, swabs, food containers, plastic film wraps, and plastic packaging.  Americans purchase 50 billion water bottles per year, an averaging 13 bottles per month per person.  Additionally, 100 billion plastic bags and 25 billion styrofoam plastic coffee cups are thrown away by Americans each year, which averages to 307 plastic bags and 77 cups per person per year.  Not all single-use plastic waste reaches landfills, permanent disposal facilities, or is recycled.

     New Jersey's current post-consumer plastics recycling rates vary between six to nine percent, however, although some calculations indicate recycling rates maybe around 13 percent.  Mismanaged single-use plastic waste may block drainage systems, release toxic fumes if burned, become land pollution, and contaminate the food chain.  Further, unrecycled plastics are disposed of in landfills, dumpsites, incinerators, or end up in waterways and oceans where they will remain for hundreds or even thousands of years.  Furthermore, plastic released in the environment typically does not biodegrade, but instead breaks into smaller pieces, called microplastics, which continue to accumulate in the natural environment.  There is evidence that microplastic pollution can move through natural food webs and accumulate in fin fish and shellfish tissues, which means microplastics and associated pollutants have the potential to move into the human food chain.  The accumulation of single-use plastics in our environment is dangerous for the residents of this State, marine wildlife, and the environment, creates visual pollution, and impacts tourism, fishing, and shipping industries.

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