Maine becomes first state to make businesses pay for using toxic ‘forever chemicals’


  • Maine was the first state to give recycling responsibilities to companies, rather than to consumers.
  • The law would make companies to either produce ecological packaging or have clear recycling instructions and labels on their products.
  • Oregon is also working on a similar law heading to the governor’s desk.

Maine was the first state to hold companies responsible for waste management of their commercial wraps.

Maine obligates companies who use less-than eco-friendly packaging to pay a Stewardship Organization (SO) per ton of packaging they bring into the state. Their reliance on Mainers and municipalities to recycle their material would be limited.

The SO will be responsible at looking at the costs and workload of recycling programs across the state and would reimburse them depending on the amount and type of the processed materials.

Prior to this mandate, raising money for recycling was only through having more taxes.

“It’s really designed to help tackle our waste crisis, get us to finally reaching our goal of recycling 50% of our waste which we set back in 1989 but never met,” said Sarah Nichols, Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, in an interview with WCSH News.

According to Nichols, the law would urge companies to either create environmental packaging or put clear recycling instructions and labels on their products to ensure Mainers would put the right thing in the right bin.

With companies being one of the most agile groups in a community, it’s anticipated that they would quickly adapt to changing market and governing orders.

There’d be a consideration, though, for small-scale businesses — those who make less than $2 million gross or create less than one ton of waste per year. They would be exempt from the tax, which ensures that Maine’s small business sector isn’t over-burdened with regulatory costs.

Nichols said that Maine was the first US state to pass a law on recycling such as this, but Oregon is working on a similar one underway to the governor’s desk.

Source: Good News Network

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *