Connecticut becomes fifth state to pass plastic recycled content mandate

Emily Friedman


HOUSTON (ICIS)–Passed in the Senate on the last day of the legislative session, Connecticut lawmakers have recently finalised the details of a recycled content mandate in House Bill 6664, requiring plastic beverage containers sold in the state to contain at least 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content by 1 January 2027, which will then increase to 30% PCR content by 1 January 2032. The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk to be signed. These rates and dates come over six months after the deadline set forth in the recycled content related Senate Bill 928, passed in June of 2021. Per SB 928, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection was to submit to the governor and the General Assembly recycled content requirements on 1 December 2022. Now, five states have active recycled content mandates that apply to plastic products, with two states, California and Washington, already in action.
This comes at a time where some recycled plastic resins, such as post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) are seeing flat to soft demand due to the macroeconomic headwinds facing the consumer goods industry. 2023 packaging sales volumes are predicted to be flat to lower than in years past, resulting in production cutbacks to avoid heavy inventory builds, leading to less resin purchased overall, recycled or virgin. Buyers are heard to be purchasing on a month to month basis or flat out delaying orders in an effort to manage the uncertain economic outlook. Despite the current soft environment, long-term recycled content goals, both voluntary and regulatory, suggest there is still much progress to be made with regard to increasing recycled content percentages, as noted by the most recent reports from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Global Commitment, as well as from California’s 2022 PCR content mandate reporting cycle.

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