Harckham introduces bill to reduce packaging and increase recycling


ALBANY – State Senator Pete Harckham (D, Peekskill) has introduced legislation that will “revolutionize” New York’s approach to solid waste.

His measure, the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act, would put the onus on corporations that put packaging into the stream of commerce and relieve the burden placed on local governments.

“New York produces approximately 15 million tons of waste a year and much of that goes to landfills, and what happens is the toxic material also then stays in our environment in perpetuity – in our water, in our fatty cells, in our bodies, and it’s not healthy, it’s a threat to public health, it’s a threat to the environment,” he said.

The measure would require companies with a net annual income of over $1 million to reduce consumer packaging, improve recycling efforts of their product packaging and help update recycling infrastructure.

Harckham, who is chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, has the backing of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, the Natural Resources Defense Council and New York League of Conservation Voters.