Maine became the first US state to require producers of packaged goods (consumer brands) sold in the state to finance the maintenance and expansion of municipal recycling programs. The bill, which was introduced by State Representative Nicole Grohoski, was signed into law this morning by Governor Janet Mills.
Under the new law, Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) will select and contract with a stewardship organization to operate a packaging stewardship program that will reimburse and assist municipalities in providing recycling services throughout the state. Brand owners selling packaged goods must pay fees on all packaging materials to the stewardship organization to fund the system based on the costs of recycling for each material, including infrastructure investments or resident education needed to capture materials statewide. The fee structure, to be determined by DEP rule with multi-stakeholder input, will also include financial incentives for recyclable packaging.
You can read the full PR here.