COLORADO SPRINGS — On Wednesday, the Colorado Senate passed a bipartisan producer responsibility bill that aims to reduce plastic packaging, as well as a bill reducing PFAS, or “forever chemicals.”

HB22-1355 passed the Senate with a 21-14 vote, and if signed into law, would make Colorado the third state in the country to pass a producer responsibility law. Put simply, it would create the infrastructure to collect and reuse valuable glass, aluminum, and paper, as well as bolster incentives for large companies to reduce the amount of non recyclable and unnecessary packaging that comes wrapped around products.  

“Too often, as consumers, we’re inundated by all the packaging — much of it unnecessary— that comes with our stuff. Add to that Colorado’s poor recycling infrastructure and that means 85% of our waste winds up in landfills, even if we could have recycled or reused it,” said Danny Katz, the executive director of Colorado Public Interest Research Group. “Producer responsibility will help cut down on the amount of unnecessary packaging that is flooding into our lives. It will also fund a robust recycling system to ensure the stuff that wraps our goods is more recyclable and that more of it is collected and reused.”

Also on Wednesday, the House approved Senate amendments to HB22-1345 made on Monday. The bill prohibits the sale or distribution of products that contain intentionally added PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals). PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are chemicals that do not naturally break down. They are added to everyday consumer products and have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, organ damage, and reproductive health problems. The bill also requires full containment and safe storage of wastes when PFAS-based foams are used in firefighting.

Both bills now head to the Governor’s desk.