Over the past few years, recycling prices across the U.S. have soared, with some cities and towns now spending millions of dollars on their programs. To understand the financial burden our communities are facing, I spent the better part of last year collecting recycling data from Massachusetts cities and towns. Here’s what I learned.
Today’s throw-away culture exists because plastic producers and manufacturers choose to make single-use products and packaging that cannot be recycled. But we can change that by passing legislation that will hold producers accountable for the waste they create.
“Our legislators had the opportunity to pass a strong bill to reduce waste, increase recycling rates and slash pollution in our communities,” said Kevin Budris, Zero Waste Attorney at CLF. “While this bill includes some important updates, it’s not nearly as strong as it should have been. At the eleventh hour, legislators have handed the beverage industry the keys to the state’s bottle return system and significantly compromised the effectiveness of the legislation.”
Maine legislators are working to shift soaring recycling costs back where they belong: onto the producers of unmanageable plastic packaging.