Environment and Natural Resources


Several recycling bins containing different materials

State Recycling Resources

Recent global shifts have provided states, cities and counties with opportunities to explore innovations to their recycling programs to make them more effective, efficient and successful. NCSL has gathered a variety of resources that showcase state efforts to increase recycling rates, reduce landfill waste and create economic opportunities. 


Person holding a plastic bag

State Plastic and Paper Bag Legislation

State legislatures have considered a number of measures to reduce the prevalence of plastic bags at grocery stores and other businesses. While some states are focusing on implementing effective recycling programs, others are imposing bans or fees to discourage the use of plastic bags altogether. 

Results Driven Governing


pile of food waste

Fighting Food Waste

Lawmakers are working to find solutions as 40% of food in the United States goes to waste and 49.1 million Americans currently face food insecurity. Policy options at the state level include enhanced liability protection, awareness, tax incentives, food labeling and composting.


NCSL Capitol Forum logo.

On Shaky Ground

Urgent infrastructure needs are straining public resources. We examine the policies, planning frameworks and new funding approaches states are using to improve infrastructure systems in four vital areas.


NCSL standing committee

Natural Resources and Infrastructure

The Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee is one of eight committees educating Congress and federal agencies about state concerns and serving as a forum for state legislators and legislative staff. This committee has jurisdiction over state and federal energy, environment, agriculture and transportation programs, legislation, regulations and policies.


ncsl database

Environment and Natural Resources Bill Tracking

The NCSL Environment and Natural Resources Bill Tracking Database features state legislation relating to air quality, disaster mitigation, environmental cleanup, land-forests, waste and recycling, and water conservation and efficiency.




Environmental Health Database

NCSL tracks state environment and natural resources legislation in the Environmental Health Legislation Database, covering legislation from the 2009-2015 legislative sessions from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each database is searchable by keyword, year, state, topic, bill number and status.