Maine’s economy depends on a clean and healthy environment. Every year, our reputation as an eco-friendly state with spectacular outdoor spaces draws thousands of visitors who support Maine's businesses.
These visitors expect basic services like recycling. Disruptions in global recycling markets has revealed fundamental flaws in the way we do recycling in Maine, and has put recycling on an unsustainable path. That is why we need to implement a proven policy solution, known as Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging.
You can help by showing your support. Read and sign your business on to NRCM's Letter of Support for an Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging Law from Businesses:
Maine’s economy depends on a clean and healthy environment. Every year, our reputation as an eco-friendly state with spectacular outdoor spaces draws thousands of families of tourists. Visitors pump millions of dollars into our local businesses and generate significant tax income. Increasingly, customers are demanding products that are not over-packaged and Mainers demand effective recycling programs.
Maine’s local businesses, residents, and tourists all want to do the right thing to protect Maine’s environment but unfortunately the serious problems facing our waste and recycling systems are making that more challenging than it should be.
Maine’s taxpayer funded municipal recycling programs have been struggling to survive since 2017. Today, recycling costs Maine taxpayers an average of 67% more per ton than trash disposal. As a result, cutbacks and closures to municipal recycling programs have occurred throughout Maine as property taxpayers are being asked to pay more.
There is no indication that things will get better unless the Maine Legislature acts to reform recycling. Maine needs to adopt a proven solution known as Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging (EPR) that is already used in 47 countries and provinces around the world. Because EPR has been so successful in those places, many states are now working to bring the policy to the U.S.
As local businesses who care about environmental stewardship and the future of Maine, we are joining Maine’s municipalities in urging the Maine Legislature to adopt an Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging law as soon as possible.
EPR works because it rewards businesses that have prioritized waste reduction and levels the playing field by holding big corporations accountable for the packaging waste they send to Maine. It also creates a more sustainable funding mechanism for local recycling that will reduce the burden on Maine taxpayers.
EPR is a more fair, effective and sustainable solution for improving recycling that will help support our economy and preserve Maine’s image as an environmental leader.
Read What Maine Businesses are Saying:
“As a Maine-based business, we’re working hard to do the right thing for our environment with our zero waste commitment. While local businesses like mine have taken take steps to reduce waste, we need the big corporations that produce packaging materials to do their part, too. That’s why I support the EPR for Packaging law being backed by NRCM and Maine’s municipalities.” —Jodi Breau, Owner of Dental Lace
“As a Maine business focused on waste-reduction we hear first-hand from Maine residents who are frustrated by overly packaged products. Maine taxpayers don't want to be burdened with excess packaging, and they are shocked and dismayed when their recycling services are cut. Reforming Maine's recycling is the proper way to move forward for the environment, and for Maine residents.” —Laura Marston, Owner of GoGo Refill