EPR Rule Is Voted Down

SPRINGFIELD, MA | An Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) resolution proposed at Chicopee, MA, City Hall was unanimously rejected on June 6. The resolution was opposed by Jeff Shinners, president of Chicopee's Pioneer Packaging, and Kim Guarnaccia, director of marketing and communications at the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC).

The resolution proposed transferring responsibility for product and packaging disposal costs from local towns to brand owners and importers. Although the resolution suggested that electronic waste would be the initial focus of any implemented EPR program in Massachusetts, it also included packaging in its mandate.

While supporting the basic tenets of EPR, Shinners and other local business people opposed the resolution because it did not exempt paperboard packaging, which is already recycled at a high rate. “…the potentially expensive cost of managing and administering a complex EPR program will far outweigh the minor benefits of a point or two increase in paper recycling, an increase that will be achieved soon enough with our existing voluntary recycling program,” said Shinners.

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