North Carolina Passes Plastics Label Law

Plastics Business

Degradable plastics in North Carolina now must be labeled to prevent contamination of recyclable feedstock, a move that officials said was good for business and the environment. The bill passed both chambers of the state legislature (111-2 in the House and 47-0 in the Senate) and Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure on June 12.

The law takes effect July 1, 2014, when any plastic container sold in the state must be labeled with "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.

State Representative Chuck McGrady, R-Hendersonville, said the bill is good for both local business and the environment. He noted the legislation had the support of the Southeast Recycling Development Council, the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, the National Association for PET Container Resources, the NC Beverage Association and the Carolina Recycling Association.

Recent SERDC research indicates that North Carolina hosts 16 plastic recycling facilities, employing 1,400 people in manufacturing jobs. In the Southeast US, more than 6,000 people are employed in manufacturing that is dependent upon recycled plastic for feedstock in the production of consumer ready goods. Working in 60 separate facilities across the region, these businesses contribute $3 Billion annually in added value to the domestic economy.

In addition, North Carolina collected nearly 500,000 tons of recyclables statewide through curbside programs last year. The state previously passed a plastic bottle disposal ban that helped to double the tonnage of plastic material collected by local recycling programs.

For more information, visit www.serdc.org.