Farry, Hanna recycling proposal passes House

HARRISBURG — The House has passed a proposal that would provide incentives for recycling plastic bags in the commonwealth, State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, reports.

Hanna said the proposal, House Bill 1071, is important because similar legislation over the last decade has resulted in an increase in the rate of plastic bag, film and wrap recycling by 74 percent. In 2015, 1.2 billion pounds of post-consumer film, which includes plastic bags and packaging, was recovered for recycling. Right now, over 90 percent of American consumers have access to plastic bag recycling through retail take-back programs. Plastic bag bans, taxes and surcharges hurt these efforts.

According to Hanna, the proposal only relates to bags that can be recycled and will not get in the way of individual grocers’ bag policies.

“Plastic bags that cannot be recycled are filling our landfills and causing pollution because consumers cannot return them,” said Hanna. “We need to promote recycling efforts and that’s what HB 1071 does.”

Hanna said there are 14 manufacturing facilities located throughout Pennsylvania.

“This proposal works to protect the 1,500 Pennsylvania residents whose jobs depend on the plastic bag recycling and manufacturing industry,” said Hanna. “This bill is about jobs and consumer choice. It promotes good, family-sustaining careers for hard-working Pennsylvanians.

“If enacted into law, hundreds of jobs will be preserved right here in Centre County. I am pleased that the legislature is working together to focus on jobs for local residents.”

The proposal will now go to the Senate for consideration.