While national politicians talk about plastics and sustainability, states seem to be where most of the action is when it comes to public policy right now. As PN's Steve Toloken noted earlier this year, state legislators are the ones passing laws covering everything from single-use plastics to chemical recycling.
And it shouldn't be a surprise that those decisions can vary, with states even in the same region taking conflicting stances.
Consider New England, where on June 29, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a bill that would have expanded the state's bottle bill to include water and other beverages, while Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill requiring 25 percent recycled content in bottles by 2027.
It's not as simple as just pointing to either governor's political affiliation. In vetoing the Vermont bill, Scott — a Republican — defended his support of recycling but said the measure merely adds more labor and complexity to a bottle bill first passed in 1972.
Lamont, a Democrat, said in a letter to legislators that while he signed the bill — due to wide support in the state — it fails to address bigger issues related to Connecticut's recycling infrastructure while adding costs for consumers.
"Moving forward, I hope we can work collaboratively in the next legislative session to develop a comprehensive solution," he said in his letter.