2018 Legislative Session - Top Priority: Secure Medicine Return

Zero Waste Washington continues to work hard for zero waste policy. During the 2018 Legislative Session, we are taking a strong stand in support of good policy on product stewardship and recycling and repair issues. This year is a year of forward momentum! It is also critical to hold the line against bills that weaken environmental laws.

Click here for tips on phone messages and emails you can send to legislators to express your support for these bills. We need your help!

Number 1 priority: Secure Medicine Return

Zero Waste Washington’s #1 priority at the state legislature this year is ESHB 1047 - the Secure Drug Take-back Act bill - which is championed by Representative Strom Peterson. We put even more resources into support of this bill this year, including helping create a new video that explains the issue.

Secure Medicine Return ordinances that are similar to SHB 1047 have been passed in King, Snohomish, Kitsap, Pierce, Clallam and Whatcom counties. Skagit County is considering an ordinance right now. This means that 58% of the state’s population will soon have access to secure take-back boxes at local drugstores, medical centers and sheriff’s offices where leftover, unused medicines can be dropped off for safe disposal, paid for by the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Zero Waste Washington and a coalition of agencies and organizations supported these ordinances because of concerns about the opioid epidemic, suicide prevention, children’s poisonings, and drugs getting into fish in our rivers, lakes and marine waters. Now, we want to make this program available to ALL of the residents of Washington.

We have a brand new video about the issue: Please go to this link to see the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Po4EblbPr8

To learn more about the issue and the bill, please go here: www.zerowastewashington.org/index.php/campaigns/medicines

STATUS: Update: State bill passes WA House 86-12 on February 9. It goes to the Senate next!

Other zero waste legislation

Zero Waste Washington has been tracking a number of bills and actively supporting others.

Here are bills we are supporting and their status (as of February 13, 2018):

  • Right to Repair (SHB 2279 - Concerning the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic products): Requires digital electronic product manufacturers, such as Apple and Microsoft, to make available electronic and repair information, parts, and tools related to independent repair. This bill makes it possible for small businesses to do repairs of cellphones and other items with motherboards and screens. This way, people will keep using their items instead of tossing them! STATUS: Bill passed out of House Committee on Technology & Economic Development and is in the House Rules Committee.
  • PFAS in food packaging (2ESHB 2658 - Concerning the use of perfluorinated chemicals in food packaging): Would ban the use of Teflon-like chemicals in food packaging including “to go” containers. STATUS: Passed out of House Committee on Environment and was approved in House floor vote 56-41 on February 13. (Companion Senate Bill SSB 6396 passed out of Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks and is now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee and is in the Rules Committee (Placed on second reading by Rules Committee)).
  • E-waste recycling (ESHB 1824 - Concerning electronic product recycling): Updates the E-Cycle law that Zero Waste Washington championed in 2006. Adds transparency and sanctions for violations. STATUS: Bill passed House 53-45 on February 8. It is scheduled for hearing on February 15 in Senate Committee on Energy, Environment & Technology.
  • Recycling. (2SHB 2914 - Concerning Washington's economic development potential as a world leader in the responsible management of postconsumer materials): Requires the departments of commerce and ecology to arrange for the completion of an economic analysis of recyclable material and solid waste processing, export, and disposal activities, and with stakeholders, develop guidelines designed to help counties and cities reduce collected recyclable material contamination rates and promote statewide best practices in the types and materials of recyclable material collection. STATUS: Bill passed House 97-0 on February 12. Now on to the Senate!

Bills that have died in this session:


  • Food waste (SHB 2411 - Reducing wasted food in order to fight hunger and reduce environmental impacts): Establishes a goal for the state to reduce, by 50%, the amount of wasted food generated annually by 2030, relative to 2017 levels. This would match the EPA goal established by the Obama administration. The bill requires assessment and planning by the department of ecology and cities and counties. STATUS: Bill passed out of House Environment Committee and is in the House Appropriations Committee but was not voted out by the February 6 deadline.
  • Paint (SHB 1376 - Concerning paint stewardship): Require stewardship of discarded latex and oil-based paint. A bill that has come up several times for the past few years and would be a major step forward for Washington if passed. STATUS: The bill is in the House Appropriations Committee but was not voted out by the February 6 deadline.

Environmental Priorities Coalition

Zero Waste Washington is part of the Environmental Priorities Coalition. The Coalition is made up of more than 20 statewide organizations working to safeguard our environment and the health of our communities in the state legislature. For the 2018 legislative session, we have adopted four priorities essential for healthy communities and a thriving environment:

  • Act on Climate. SB 6203*- Reducing carbon pollution by moving to a clean energy economy. STATUS: Bill in Senate Ways and Means.
  • Sustainable Water Management. Response to Hirst decision. STATUS: The legislature compromised and passed a bill that was not favorable to the environment and then they passed the state capital budget (earlier in January).
  • Action for Toxic-Free Food Packaging. See above. Zero Waste Washington is a partner on this bill.
  • Oil Spill Prevention Act. SB 6269* - Strengthening oil transportation safety. STATUS: Bill is in Senate Ways and Means Committee.
  • Partnership Agenda. The coalition has also adopted a Partnership Agenda. This agenda supports work that is important for environmental progress being led by partners outside the coalition and include the WA Voting Rights Act (HB 1800, SB 6002), Preventable Pesticide Drift Exposure (HB 1564), Solar Fairness Act (SB 6081), and Presumptive Disease for Firefighters.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 13 February 2018 10:50)