Maine has become the first state to enact an EPR law (“enhanced producer responsibility”) that puts the financial burden of recycling on the producers and sellers of products, instead of the consumers and their local government.

NY Times story (here) puts it succinctly:

EPR for packaging will charge large packaging producers for collecting and recycling cardboard boxes, plastic containers and other packaging materials, as well as for disposing of nonrecyclable packaging. The income generated will be used to support recycling efforts in local communities that have long relied on taxpayer dollars.

This won’t be a free ride for the rest of us – if done right, and widespread, it will raise costs and possibly remove some items from store shelves. But we’re all bearing the cost indirectly already; this provides a financial incentive for corprate innovation to find solutions.

Well done, Maine.

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