Spending package to rescind Congress’ plastic-reduction rule

By Andres Picon | 03/14/2024 06:36 AM EDT

The plastic-reduction requirement has been in every Legislative Branch bill since fiscal 2019.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.).

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, said pending spending legislation won't have a Democratic-backed anti-plastics mandate. Andrew Harnik/AP

The second tranche of fiscal 2024 spending bills would eliminate an existing requirement that the House, Senate and certain congressional agencies cut down on single-use plastics, according to a top appropriator.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), ranking member on the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, told E&E News on Wednesday that his panel’s compromise spending bill, expected to be finalized in the coming days, would allow legislative branch offices with food service providers to instead choose whether or not to reduce their plastic waste.

“It will be optional; it won’t be mandatory,” Espaillat said.


The plastic-reduction requirement had been in every Legislative Branch bill since fiscal 2019. Its removal this year marks a win for congressional Republicans who view the provision as overly burdensome and a loss for Democrats who are concerned about pollution and plastic’s contributions to climate change.