Support and Increase the Recycling of Packaging

Last updated: Mar 10, 2020

Details about this bill
Category: Environmental
Status: In Committee
Sponsor: Representative Ralph Tucker, House 50
Session: 129
Bill #: LD 2104

Position:

As drafted, we are strongly opposed to the bill. It levies fees / taxes on product packaging producers to pay for the existing recycling and waste management programs in Maine.

UPDATE: 3/5/2020: The most recent amendment, and relevant committee analysis.

UPDATE: 2/27/2020 - The Maine DEP Amendment

UPDATE: 2/28/2020 - Listing of 500 Brands

Summary:

This bill, which is reported out by the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources pursuant to Resolve 2019, chapter 42, section 2, establishes a stewardship program for packaging to be operated by a stewardship organization contracted by the Department of Environmental Protection following a competitive bidding process. Under that program, producers of packaging pay into a fund based on the amount by weight of packaging material they sell, offer for sale or distribute for sale in the State. Producers can wholly or partially offset this payment obligation by implementing independent programs to recycle packaging of the same material type for which they have a payment obligation and can further reduce their payment obligation by reducing the amount of packaging they sell, offer for sale or distribute for sale in the State, by redesigning that packaging to make it more valuable as a recyclable material or by meeting other program incentive requirements.

Producer payments received by the stewardship organization are used to reimburse eligible municipalities for certain incurred recycling and waste management costs. To be eligible for such reimbursements, a municipality must share with the stewardship organization certain data regarding its incurred recycling and waste management costs. Recycling-related reimbursements to municipalities will be based on the median recycling costs incurred by similarly situated municipalities, while disposal-related reimbursements will be based on per capita disposal costs. The stewardship organization is authorized to use producer payments remaining after all reimbursements are paid to cover operational costs for the program, department fees, investments by the organization in education and infrastructure aimed at improving recycling outcomes in the State and funding for the Maine Solid Waste Diversion Grant Program established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 38, section 2201-B.

The committee has not taken a position on the substance of the bill and by reporting this bill out the committee is not suggesting and does not intend to suggest that it agrees or disagrees with any aspect of this bill. The committee is reporting the bill out for the sole purpose of obtaining a printed bill that can be referred to the committee for a public hearing and subsequent committee action in the normal course.