Maine has become the first US State to enact legislation that requires producers to fund the recycling of packaging and report annually on the quantity and type of packaging sold.
The Act To Support and Improve Municipal Recycling Programs and Save Taxpayer Money requires Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection to contract with a packaging stewardship organisation to finance recycling infrastructure and public education programs in the state.
Brandowners and importers with an annual turnover of at least $2m, who place on the market over one tonne of packaging (subject to certain exemptions), will be required to make payments to the stewardship organisation 180 days after the effective date of the contract and annually thereafter or participate in an alternative, approved collection program.
Producers who place on the market less than 15 tonnes annually will pay no more than $500 per ton of packaging material and no more than $7,500 in total annual fees to the stewardship organisation.
The Department of Environmental Protection will adopt rules for the implementation, administration and enforcement of the stewardship program on or before December 31, 2023.