Department of Ecology News Release - February 3, 2022

Plastic bottle and trash bag makers must register with state by April 1

New law requires some plastics include a minimum amount of recycled content beginning in 2023, information sessions planned for February and March


Manufacturers of plastic trash bags and plastic bottles for household cleaning products, personal care items, and beverages must register with the Washington Department of Ecology by April 1, 2022. Registration is a requirement of Washington’s 2021 plastic packaging law aimed at reducing reliance on single-use plastics and increasing the use of recycled plastics. 

In 2023, all plastic trash bags and most beverage bottles sold or distributed in or into Washington must contain a minimum amount of postconsumer recycled material. This requirement increases and expands over time to cover other single-use plastic containers, including those used for household cleaning and personal care products in 2025, and wine containers and milk jugs in 2028. 

A chart detailing the timeline for required recycled content.

The recycled content standards of Washington's plastic reduction law increase and expand to additional items until 2036, when all affected products must contain at least 50%25 recycled material.

The new law supports the state’s waste reduction and recycling goals and recommendations of a 2020 plastic packaging study detailing how Washington can achieve 100% recyclable, reusable, and compostable packaging that also contain a minimum amount of recycled material.

“This law is a first step to plastic packaging producers being responsible for their products’ recyclability into new products,” said Laurie Davies, manager of Ecology’s Solid Waste Management program. “Requiring a minimum amount of recycled material in single-use plastics will reduce our dependence on virgin plastics and help create new markets for Washington’s recycled commodities.” 

Register as a manufacturer

Plastic producers can register at a Secure Access Washington link on Ecology’s website. The agency will use the registration information to identify which companies offer single-use plastics for sale or distribution in Washington. 

Learn more about requirements for manufacturers under Washington’s plastics law

Anyone can register to attend one of Ecology’s four online presentations about the new law on Feb. 10, Feb. 24, March 9, and March 23. The presentations will address producer obligations, registration, and the rulemaking process.

Contact information

Dave Bennett
Ecology Communications
Twitter: ecologywa