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.

Number 1 priority: Secure Medicine Return - Passed into Law!

Zero Waste Washington’s #1 priority at the state legislature this year was ESHB 1047 - the Secure Drug Take-back Act bill - which was 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, Whatcom, and Skagit counties. This meant that 58% of the state’s population would 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, this program will be 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: Passed House 88-12 (Press release - State bill passes WA House 86-12 on February 9.) and passed Senate unanimously.  Signed into law by governor March 22, 2018.

Other zero waste legislation

Zero Waste Washington tracked a number of bills and actively supported others.

Here are bills we supported and their status:

  • 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 into law!  Signed by governor March 21, 2018.
  • Bills that died in this session:

  • 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. Passed out of Senate Committee on Economic Development & International Trade on February 22 and had a hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on February 24.
  • 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. Referred to Senate Committee on Energy, Environment & Technology. Died in Committee.

  • 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. Died in Committee.

  • 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 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. 
  • Sustainable Water Management. Response to Hirst decision. 
  • Action for Toxic-Free Food Packaging. See above. Zero Waste Washington was a partner on this bill.
  • Oil Spill Prevention Act. SB 6269* - Strengthening oil transportation safety. 
  • 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 (Thursday, 22 March 2018 10:00)