From the Boston Globe this morning:
"Maine Governor Janet Mills this week signed the nation’s first extended producer responsibility (EPR) law, effectively holding the corporations accountable for the packaging waste they create. Now, nearly a dozen states, including Massachusetts, are on track to follow Maine’s lead.
"Think about it: A company that sells you a product — be it toothpaste or taco shells or dog food — determines how it’s packaged. Maybe it’s shipped in multiple boxes or sold in a plastic container that isn’t recyclable. Either way, once it’s tossed in the trash or recycling bin, it’s the responsibility of the municipal waste program to figure out where it goes next."
But soon, the Globe writes, "global giants like Amazon, Walmart, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble will be forced to track the type and amount of packaging they sell into Maine. They’ll then pay an annual fee covering the cost per ton of processing things like cardboard boxes, yogurt tubs, plastic bags, and other packaging that all end up in the waste stream. That’ll lighten the load on municipal recycling programs from Kittery to the Canadian border who today spend as much as $17.5 million a year to get rid of Maine’s packaging. Smaller businesses are exempt from the law, and some of the funds also go toward education efforts and infrastructure in the state."
- KC's View:
Suddenly, there will be a new budget line in a lot of companies' ledgers, and it will be fascinating to see the degree to which it affects behavior and policies.