2022 Program Agenda

Each year, WashPIRG sets out goals for the legislative session and beyond. In addition to helping us measure our progress, our program agenda lets decision-makers know which high-priority consumer items our members want us to tackle.

Nicole Walter

Former Advocate, WashPIRG

Beyond Plastics

Every day, people throw away tons of plastic  “stuff” — cups, plates, bags, containers, forks,  knives, straws, spoons and more. All of this waste  not only clogs our landfills, trashes our parks, and  litters our streets, but it also washes into our rivers  and oceans, where it can harm wildlife. It’s time to  move beyond single-use plastic, by getting rid of  the most harmful waste, and stopping the use of  things we truly don’t need.

  • Hold producers responsible for the waste they  create. Passing an extended producer program in  Washington will aim to incentivize producers to  reduce their use of packaging and build products  that are less hazardous, built to last, and are easy  to recycle or reuse by requiring that producers  are responsible for waste costs associated with  their products, including waste collection,  transportation and management.
  • WashPIRG supports policies that eliminate  unnecessary single-use plastics.

Right to Repair

When our stuff breaks, it means more cost to  consumers, and also means more waste. Americans  dispose of 416,000 cell phones per day, and only 15  to 20 percent of electronic waste is recycled. The goal  of our Right to Repair campaign is to give every  consumer and small business access to the parts, tools  and service information they need to repair products  so we can keep things in use and reduce waste.

  • Washington should adopt “right to repair”  reforms, which would allow consumers and  small businesses to fix their devices in order to  reduce waste and save money.

Fair Prescription Drug Prices

Americans pay two to three times as much as people  in other countries for the same medicines. It’s time  to stop the patent abuse and other schemes drug  makers use to jack up costs and prevent lower-cost  alternatives from entering the market. Establishing  drug affordability boards can work to bring drug  prices down by setting annual drug spending targets  or establishing upper payment limits.

  • Washington should establish a prescription drug affordability board to protect patients.

Safe and Healthy Homes

Burning fossil fuels in our homes and businesses is  responsible for at least 9 percent of all US emissions  and can pollute the air we breathe inside and outside  of our buildings. Despite the threat this poses to our  planet and our health, three out of every four American  homes still directly burn fossil fuels for heating, hot  water, or to run appliances. WashPIRG supports:

  • Warning labels to inform consumers of the health and safety risks of gas appliances
  • Ending subsidies for new gas hook-ups and instead investing in incentives for electrification to help the public move away from dangerous fossil fuels in our homes.

Get the Lead Out

Lead is a potent neurotoxin and it affects how our  children learn, grow and behave. Our children’s  drinking water is at risk wherever we have faucets,  fountains, or plumbing made with lead. While  Washington state made strides in 2021 to better  protect public school students and faculty members,  there is more to be done to protect all Washingtonians  from the dangers of lead.

  • WashPIRG supports utilizing state and federal  funding to proactively replace lead-bearing  fountains with filtered water stations and install  filters on all other taps used for cooking or  drinking at schools.

Transform Transportation

Transportation is the largest source of carbon  emissions in Washington, and our reliance on  fossil fuels in this sector puts our health, safety and  environment at risk. Getting to school or commuting  to work shouldn’t include a daily dose of toxic  pollution, or increase the chances that people get sick.  New federal funding should make it even easier for  Washington to install EV charging stations, electrify  buses, and invest in walking, biking and transit  infrastructure. WashPIRG supports:

  • Electrifying cars. We’re calling for all new cars and trucks sold in the state to be electric by 2030. We support legislation to facilitate the shift to a cleaner, electric car future.
  • Electrifying buses. We support a transition to 100% electric school and transit buses by 2030.
  • Driving less, living more. We need to reduce the need to drive by making it easier, cheaper and more enjoyable to travel on foot, bike or public transit, and invest in multi-modal transportation.

Consumer Protection

Washingtonians deserve fair rules of the road  and an even playing field in the marketplace,  and consumers should be protected from scams,  dangerous products, and the unbridled power of  unscrupulous corporate interests.

WashPIRG’s Mission

WashPIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, results-oriented public interest activism that protects  consumers, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, protects public health and fosters responsive,  democratic government.  

For more information about WashPIRG’s 2022 Program Agenda, to request our support for a bill, or to ask questions about our position on a specific issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to  working with you.

 

Cover image by Jim Bowen via flickr

Topics
Authors

Nicole Walter

Former Advocate, WashPIRG

Find Out More
PIRG gift
staff | TPIN

A gift that gets rid of all that plastic packaging

This week make a Giving Tuesday gift that will help tackle single-use plastic, eliminate dangerous pesticides, and take on other important issues.

Donate today