2020 Zero Waste Legislation in Colorado
Eco-Cycle is advocating a circular economy in Colorado in which valuable resources re-enter the production process to reduce waste, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and conserve energy and water. To achieve this vision, we must work together to create new systems that promote sustainable, resilient communities.
Eco-Cycle is advocating for the passage of the following bills in the current legislative session, which runs from January-May 2020. Eco-Cycle worked with partner organizations, including Recycle Colorado, CoPIRG, and Environment Colorado, as well as legislators to develop these bills.
If you want a clean, environmentally-progressive and economically-viable future for Colorado, take a moment to give your support to the following bills. Stay tuned – status updates and opportunities to take action will be posted to this page throughout this legislative session!
Ban on Polystyrene
Plastic pollution is a huge global problem and we can’t recycle our way out of it. It’s time to say, “no more”—starting with one of the worst plastics for the planet and public health: Polystyrene. Often referred to as “Styrofoam,” this material contains known carcinogens and litters the environment, breaking down into microplastics that pollute water and soil. This bill proposes a ban on polystyrene food and beverage containers throughout Colorado.
STATUS: On February 24, 2020, the House Energy and Environment Committee PASSED this bill through committee. Thank you to everyone who sent a letter of support to their House Representative! HB 20-1162 is now under review by House Appropriations. Stay tuned for the next action you can take to support this bill.
Stop the Proliferation of Plastic Waste
Since the 1950s, plastic production worldwide has exploded from 2 million tons annually to a whopping 440 million tons in 2015 – and is expected to nearly quadruple in the next 30 years! Nearly one-third of all plastics end up polluting the environment, breaking down into microplastics that have been found in water sources, soils, and wildlife. This bill would prohibit retail stores and restaurants from providing single-use plastic carryout bags, stirrers, and require straws upon request starting July 1, 2021.
STATUS: On February 24, 2020, the House Energy and Environment Committee PASSED this bill through committee. Thank you to everyone who sent a letter of support to their House Representative! HB 20-1163 is now under review by the House Finance Committee. Stay tuned for the next action you can take to support this bill.
Increase Composting in Colorado
37% of Colorado’s waste last year was compostable, yet ended up in the trash. When food scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic materials are sent to landfill they produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. However, composting these organics helps fight climate change, reduce waste, improve soil health, conserve water and create local jobs. This bill proposes the development of an organics management plan that promotes compost use, markets, and infrastructure.
STATUS: On February 28, 2020, the Colorado House of Representatives passed this bill on a floor vote, 39-24 (with 2 excused). Thank you to everyone who sent a letter of support to their House Representative! This bill will have its first hearing in the Senate in early to mid-March. Stay tuned for the next action you can take to support this bill.
Develop Recycling End Markets for Colorado
Recycling markets have taken a significant downturn after China – the world’s largest importer of recyclable materials – closed its doors to US paper, plastics, glass and metal. Now is a critical time for Colorado to capitalize on the need for local recycling markets and attract end market users and entrepreneurs to our state. This bill will also support and help grow existing end market businesses, including businesses that recycle glass, electronics, and compost.
STATUS: This bill is currently being considered by Senate Appropriations. Stay tuned for updates.