Colorado Legislature Passes Landmark EPR Invoice for Packaging and Paper

Colorado is poised to change into the third U.S. state – and the primary this yr – to cross a complete Prolonged Producer Accountability (EPR) legislation that may considerably enhance paper and packaging recycling. Spearheaded by Consultant Lisa Cutter and Senators Julie Gonzales and Kevin Priola with assist from Recycle Colorado, the Producer Accountability Program for Recycling invoice (HB22-1355) handed each the Home and Senate and has been despatched to Governor Jared Polis. This invoice represents a paradigm shift in the way in which paper and packaging are designed and managed in the US.  “We labored for 20 years with governments and producers to develop our packaging EPR coverage mannequin, which we supplied to Recycle Colorado to assist the drafting of this invoice,” stated Scott Cassel, CEO and Founding father of the Product Stewardship Institute. “It should serve for example to different states for years to come back.”

Colorado’s mixed recycling and composting price is simply 15%, lower than half the nationwide recycling and composting price. The brand new legislation will make a big influence: Over 40 international locations and provinces all over the world have tracked 20 years of success with related EPR packages – leading to packaging recycling charges as excessive as 80%. “This coverage will make it simple for all Coloradans to recycle extra plastics, aluminum cans, glass bottles, cardboard, and printed paper. It should additionally assist producers and companies by making a extra resilient home provide of recycled supplies to make new merchandise. Amid historic provide chain disruptions, rampant local weather change, and pervasive plastic air pollution, there has by no means been a extra vital time to put money into recycling, “stated Kate Bailey, Coverage Director at Eco-Cycle and lead writer of the invoice.

Recycle Colorado was instrumental in partaking stakeholders to develop and cross the laws, holding over 70 conferences with each in-state and nationwide representatives from all sectors of trade, authorities, and nonprofits. The invoice places duty for managing and educating customers about packaging and paper waste on those that resolve which supplies to make use of within the first place – specifically, client manufacturers. It additionally creates sturdy monetary incentives for manufacturers to make use of much less packaging and paper total (and to decide on extra sustainable choices) and will increase entry to recycling throughout the state. And it achieves all of this with out growing client costs or incurring prices to native governments.

“Individuals imagine we’ve got a inexperienced state and are shocked to listen to how low our diversion charges are,” stated State Consultant Lisa Cutter, one of many sponsors of HB22-1355. “This invoice will shield our local weather, create a better and extra constant system of recycling all through the state, and contribute to making a round economic system. We’ve been laggards on this space and this offers us the chance to be leaders.”

In contrast to Maine and Oregon’s packaging EPR legal guidelines, each handed final yr, Colorado’s program can be absolutely funded and managed by producers – sometimes, client manufacturers. If signed into legislation, the invoice will signify a distinctly totally different method for utilizing EPR to handle packaging and paper merchandise within the U.S.  “The Product Stewardship Institute’s experience and its coalition – a working group of presidency companions – was instrumental in creating this coverage,” stated Bailey. “We had been in a position to work by way of particulars and modifications with stakeholders, and to construct legislative assist for this daring imaginative and prescient. Eco-Cycle labored along with PSI to cross our paint stewardship legislation in 2015, and that coverage has resulted in super value financial savings to native governments and vastly elevated paint recycling throughout the state. EPR is a confirmed coverage resolution, and we look ahead to working with PSI and different companions to rework the panorama of recycling throughout the US.”

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