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Industry Experience Will be Critical for Maine's Packaging Responsibility Plan

Industry Experience Will be Critical for Maine's Packaging Responsibility Plan

Statement from AMERIPEN Executive Director Dan Felton: Industry Experience Will be Critical if Maine Wants to Have a Reliable, Equitable Packaging Responsibility Plan

July 21, 2021 (St. Paul, MN) — “AMERIPEN is disappointed that Governor Janet Mills has chosen to sign flawed packaging producer responsibility legislation into law. When the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) begins its rulemaking process, we will work vigorously to overcome those flaws by promoting our vision of a shared responsibility for packaging recycling and recovery.

AMERIPEN uniquely represents the critical elements of packaging’s circular economy, and no one knows packaging better than our members who supply, produce, distribute, collect and process it. We strongly supported another stewardship bill in Maine (LD 1471) that would have created a collaborative program where packaging producer responsibility extended from helping design and implement the stewardship program to paying for it.

“Instead, 2021 Public Law Chapter 455 (LD 1541) rejects this shared approach to collaboration and responsibility between industry, stakeholders and government—leaving producers and the people of Maine on the outside of the process and forced to foot the bill for a system where the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the sole decision-maker.

“More packaging materials need to be properly and sustainably collected and processed in Maine and we are concerned that this law on its own will not satisfy that need. The people of Maine deserve better, and we look forward to participating in DEP’s rulemaking process in hopes of bringing our real-world experience to the table so Maine can build a packaging producer responsibility program that is more aligned with our principles for industry and system funding to be reliable, efficient and effective, equitable and fair.”

  • Reliable – funding can withstand market volatility, is expected to provide needed levels of revenue for certain timeframes and objectives and is unlikely to be diverted.
  • Efficient and Effective – funding is directed towards desired programs and solutions, incentivizes positive behaviors and administrative costs are limited.
  • Equitable and Fair – allocation of costs is perceived as fair among all contributors and stakeholders.

AMERIPEN's objectives for industry and system funding include a focus on all material types for the packaging of today and tomorrow and on initiatives tied to best practices to actually increase packaging recovery. Funds should be managed by industry—ideally at a regional or national level.

Learn more about AMERIPEN's principles and objectives for successful packaging producer responsibility programs here.

AMERIPEN – the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment – is a coalition of packaging industry entities dedicated to improving packaging and the environment. We are the only material neutral packaging policy association in the United States and our membership represents the entire packaging supply chain, including materials suppliers, packaging producers, consumer packaged goods companies and end-of-life materials managers. Our Vision is for packaging to be recognized for all its benefits, including preventing waste and driving a circular economy and our Mission is to be the leading voice for the packaging industry, using science to inspire, create and advocate for sustainable solutions for the packaging value chain.

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