NACWA Supports Potential Legislation on Plastics

(September 4, 2019) – NACWA provided input August 27 to Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif) on planned legislation to address plastic pollution with a broad range of measures. 

NACWA and its public member agencies are concerned about plastic products that are flushed into the sewer system or washed into stormwater systems.  Larger plastic objects can lead to clogging and other equipment problems and must be removed from wastewater and stormwater systems.  Microplastics or plastic microfibers may pass through treatment plants and cause harm to the aquatic environment. 

The upcoming legislation is anticipated to include extended producer responsibility for managing plastics throughout their life cycle and end-of-life disposal, as well as a ban on many single-use plastic products and labeling requirements to clearly explain correct disposal of plastic products.  These measures could help control many plastic products that end up in sewer systems, including many types of wipes, dental flossers, feminine hygiene products, and condoms.  These are all classic single-use products that usually do not include clear disposal instructions on their labels. 

NACWA will keep members informed about the progress of this legislation.  Please contact Kristina Surfus, NACWA’s Director, Legislative Affairs, with any input or questions related to this legislation.