Header image

Maine steps closer to EPR Packaging Law

February 6th, 2020

We previously reported that on 30 May 2019, Maine adopted legislation (Law LD 1431) that requires the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to draft an EPR packaging bill. The bill would require producers to finance at least 80% of the cost associated with recycling packaging and to reimburse municipalities for managing non-recyclable packaging items. It is hoped that an EPR Law will transform the current recycling system in Maine which is currently struggling due to the loss of export markets.

What will this mean for packaging producers?

  • Large packaging producers to pay into a packaging stewardship fund - payments will depend on the weight and type of packaging
  • A fee structure would be established that penalises producers of non-recyclable packaging items and encourages recyclability of higher value material fractions
  • Producers to report to a new compliance organisation (‘stewardship organisation’)
  • Producers who do not participate in the EPR program would be unable to sell their packaging in Maine
  • Packaging is defined as a material used for containing, protecting and handling products during delivery and presentation. Material used for long-term protection or storage of a product and items covered under Maine’s container deposit law such as cans and bottles are not in scope.

When will the bill be introduced?

In January 2020, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection presented a draft of the next stage of legislation to the Maine Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. The draft Bill may be published for debate by February of this year. This brings Maine a step closer to having an EPR regulation in place for packaging. However, Sarah Nichols, Sustainable Maine Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine has indicated that it may take up to two years to get the system up and running if the Bill passes into Law.

Packaging EPR in the USA

No state in the USA currently has packaging EPR legislation in place. However, several states including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington have also proposed EPR Packaging legislation.

How EC4P can help?

We offer a global update service which monitors draft laws and notifies you when these laws come into force. As part of our compliance services, we can assess whether you are required to take action under newly implemented laws. We can also identify the best solutions to ensure compliance to the regulations and manage these on your behalf. For more information about our services please contact us