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[Portal ID #1962]

Department of Ecology
Committees, Boards, and Workgroups

Plastics Packaging Study Stakeholder Group

You can find information on Washington State Plastic Packaging Study here.  

Sign up for the Plastic Packaging Study email list to receive updates.


In 2019, the Washington Legislature passed the Plastic Packaging Evaluation and Assessment law. The law states that producers of plastic packaging should consider the design and management of their packaging in a manner that ensures minimal environmental impact. Producers of plastic packaging should be involved from design concept to end-of-life management to incentivize innovation and research to minimize environmental impacts. The law sets goals that, by January 2025: 

  • All plastic packaging sold into the state is 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable.
  • Plastic packaging in all goods contains at least 20% percent post-consumer recycled content.
  • Plastic packaging is reduced when possible, optimizing the use to meet the need.

The law directed the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to hire an independent third-party contractor to conduct a study of the impacts of plastic packaging in Washington and develop recommendations for managing it. The report and recommendations are due to the Legislature by October 31, 2020.*

What will be studied?

The study will look at:

  • The amount and types of plastic packaging produced in or entering the state.
  • The costs of managing plastic packaging waste, including costs to ratepayers, businesses, and local governments.
  • Where plastic packaging waste ends up at the end of its life.
  • An estimate of future infrastructure needed to manage plastic packaging.
  • A review of domestic or international efforts and methods to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic packaging.
  • Proposals to meet the goals of reducing plastic packaging in the waste stream in Washington.

Study Implementation

Ecology hired Cascadia Consulting (Cascadia), an independent consultant, to conduct the study. In the spring of 2020, Cascadia will collect data and conduct a study of how plastic packaging is managed in Washington. Over the summer, Cascadia and Ecology will develop proposals and options for legislative consideration to meet plastic packaging reduction goals. In addition to the research, Ecology and Cascadia will consult with stakeholders. 

Study Updates

*Please note that timelines for some deliverables have shifted back slightly from those contained in the project scope of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The original scope of work and a project timeline are available in the documents section below. The timeline will be updated as needed, and any study updates or notifications of deliverables publication will be sent to the study email list

UPDATE (6/3/2020): The second task-level sub-report (Task 2) Recycled Content Use in Washington: Assessing Demand, Barriers, and Opportunities is available for download. This report compiles research on plastic manufacturers in Washington and their use of recycled content, as well as barriers and opportunities for expanding use of post-consumer resin (PCR) in products and packaging.

UPDATE (5/20/2020): The first task-level sub-report (Task 3) Successful Plastic Packaging Management Programs and Innovations and executive summary are now available for download. This report compiles research on policy and technology options and innovations for managing plastic packaging waste and highlights several examples from programs and companies in Europe and North America.

We have developed a survey to gather feedback on the options identified in the reports and encourage suggestions for additional strategies to manage plastic packaging. The survey will close at midnight on Monday, June 15. Survey responses and public comments will be considered in the development of final recommendations to the Legislature for reducing plastic packaging in the waste stream. 

The survey is available at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WAPlasticPkgStudy.


For more information contact:


(206) 312-6055 (to leave a voicemail)

To submit written comments, please visit the public comment form page.

Sign up for the email list to receive updates.

Note that all received input will become part of the public record, and may be posted on the web, or otherwise included in reports and output from the study.


 File NameFile SizeDescriptionCategoryDate Added
Ecology Plastic Packaging Study Timeline.pdf 151.4 KB Study Timeline (as of 6/24/2020)
Study Timeline (as of 6/24/2020)
None 06/24/20 03:19 PM
Recycled Content Use in Washington Report_06012020.pdf 4.8 MB Task 2 research report on recycled content use in ...
Task 2 research report on recycled content use in Washington
None 06/04/20 08:41 PM
Successful Plastic Packaging Management Programs and Innovations Report_Executive Summary_05182020.pdf 1.2 MB Task 3 research report executive summary
Task 3 research report executive summary
None 05/20/20 11:46 AM
Successful Plastic Packaging Management Programs and Innovations Report_05182020.pdf 4.5 MB Task 3 research report on plastic packaging manage...
Task 3 research report on plastic packaging management policy and technology options
None 05/20/20 11:41 AM
Plastic Packaging Study Introductory Letter_3-6-2020.pdf 171.5 KB Introductory letter to stakeholders
Introductory letter to stakeholders
None 03/09/20 01:08 PM
WA Plastic Packaging Study Scope of Work.pdf 565.2 KB Project scope of work and deliverables
Project scope of work and deliverables
#NEW_CATEGORY# 03/03/20 01:32 PM

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