Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vermont says, "Take It Back!"

The latest news on Product Stewardship from Resource Recycling

Vermont to dramatically shift costs of recycling

Beverage industry representatives in Vermont have extended a draft proposal which would repeal the Green Mountain State's bottle bill and replace it with an extended producer responsibility program. The Vermont Extended Producer Responsibility Act of 2010 (VEPRA) would use packaging and printed materials as the first products to test out a manufacturer financed and run EPR program, beginning March 1, 2012 (thanks to the Product Stewardship Institute for the link).

Under the proposed initiative firms such as beverage and food producers, as well as newspaper and magazine publishers — the producers of the materials to be managed — would pay for the potential cost of recycling in Vermont.

"VEPRA establishes packaging and printed material as the first designated wastes in Vermont and sets forth a process under which producers of these products must develop plans for recovering these materials and financing the program through fees," according to the summary of the measure. "The Secretary of Natural Resources must approve the plans after which the producers have one year to implement the program."

According to industry sources, paper industry and grocers have not been approached yet, though extensive meetings have been held with local solid waste agencies and waste haulers. One key player suggests this bill will "begin the conversation," and that it may take two sessions to get it passed.