July 13, 2021 (PORTLAND, ME) – Maine Governor Janet Mills signed a landmark new law that will require producers of polluting packaging to pay cities and towns for the costs of disposing of their products. It is the first so-called extended producer responsibility bill to pass in the country. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.
“Maine’s current recycling system is broken,” said Peter Blair, Zero Waste Attorney at CLF Maine. “Cities and towns are paying exorbitant disposal rates for polluting products that are deliberately manufactured to be unrecyclable. It’s time plastic producers pay for polluting our air, land, and water with their products, and this law will finally hold them accountable.”
LD1541 will finally make recycling work for Mainers, not corporations. Large corporations selling single-use packaging would be required to reimburse the state’s cities and towns for the cost of managing their products. This would also motivate producers to reduce their packaging, increase product recyclability, incorporate recycled content into their products, and minimize the toxicity of packaging.
CLF experts are available for further comment.