YORK, Maine — Maine became the first state in the nation to adopt a law requiring companies that create consumer packaging to pay for the costs of recycling.
The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth), establishes an “extended producer responsibility” program that will charge large packaging producers for collecting and recycling cardboard boxes, plastic containers and other packaging materials, as well as for disposing of nonrecyclable packaging.
"I’m proud that, once again, Maine is a national leader when it comes to commonsense environmental protections," Grohoski said in a statement. "This new law assures every Maine community that help with recycling and lowering the property tax burden is on the way."
Supporters of the proposal said the payments would be used to cover operational costs, pay department fees and fund education and infrastructure projects aimed at reducing future packaging waste.
Mark Graziano of the York Recycling Committee said the new measure should lower property taxes in York, which have soared in recent years, and make recycling easier for consumers.