Today, after a show of unanimous bi-partisan support in the Maine legislature, the first extended producer responsibility "framework" legislation, LD 1631, was signed into law by Governor John Baldacci.
Not only is this the first framework law in the nation, but the bill passed the legislature unanimously.
Business, environmental groups and legislators came together to make it happen.
Product Policy Institute has been working for five years to bring the framework producer responsibility approach to the U.S. We developed the model framework producer responsibility legislation that was the starting point for Maine and several other states. The movement is beginning to take hold. We’re excited to see it finally bearing fruit in Maine.
It’s especially significant that the business and environmental communities worked together to make it happen. Read PPI’s press release, and NRCM’s release. To Rep. Walsh Innes, Matt Prindiville and Chris Jackson: You rock!
The legislation that has now been passed in Maine, and is in play in several additional states, is modelled after British Columbia's recycling regulation.
As the Board President of the Product Policy Institute, I have travelled as far as Australia explaining our "made-in-BC" solution to the garbage problem. We are recognized as leaders all over the world for the BC legislation that gave rise to our successful "Extended Producer Responsibility" (EPR) programs for beverage containers and a whole list of household products, with the list growing every year.
Our blueprint is now being used to build new programs to get products out of landfills in other places.
Three quarters of the waste in our landfill is products & packaging, for which there will one day be EPR programs. The other quarter is compostable organics.
EPR + composting = Zero Waste.
Unless we build an incinerator and let the producers off the hook.