Attempting to keep the plastic recycling stream clean, lawmakers in North Carolina have passed a measure to force manufacturers of degradable plastics to have the items clearly marked as such.
The measure aims to prevent contamination of recyclable feedstock.
The bill sailed by both chambers of the legislature — passing 111-2 in the House and 47-0 in the Senate — and Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure on June 12.
"Recycled plastic is valuable and shouldn't be going into landfills," said Rep. Chuck McGrady, who sponsored the bill, in a statement.
McGrady's office said the bill had support of the Southeast Recycling Development Council, the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, the National Association for PET Container Resources, the North Carolina Beverage Association and the Carolina Recycling Association.
"North Carolina is a leader in plastic recycling and this bill protects this important contributor to the state's economic success," said Will Sagar, executive director of the Southeast Recycling Development Council, in a statement.
North Carolina reported collecting nearly 500,000 tons of recyclables statewide through curbside collections last year and has a bottle disposal landfill ban in the state.
The law applies for any plastic container sold in the state after July 1, 2014. The law says containers that are degradable must carry a label that says, "Not Recyclable. Do Not Recycle." That label must match in size and color a label to highlight that the product is "biodegradable," "compostable" or "degradable," the law says.