From South Shore Recycling Cooperative:
The time has come to discuss cost sharing for end-of-life management of packaging materials.
Packaging materials make up about 30% of our disposed tons, and over half of our recycling. Much of it is unnecessary, nonrecyclable, or not made with recycled material. Recycling markets are in a tailspin with no end in sight. Costs to municipalities and recyclers have gone from 0 to $60/ton (and higher) in 8 months. The volume and variety of packaging materials are a major factor in this crisis.
In February, the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture sent H447, An act to reduce packaging waste in the Commonwealth, to House Ways & Means with a favorable report. The SSRC sent letters of support to all our legislators and to House Ways & Means last month.
Last week, cosponsor Rep. Jonathan Hecht convened a meeting at the State House to discuss the recycling crisis and figure out next steps to move H447 forward. Eight other legislators sent staff, and several other stakeholders attended (see blog post above for list).
The Environmental League of Mass., Product Stewardship Institute (PSI),and MassDEP are aware of and interested in this. PSI is working with a large group in CT on a packaging producer responsibility bill there, and in a few other states as well.
The stars may be aligning.
A bill of this magnitude needs a lot of support.