Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
EPR laws are designed to improve recycling of various wastes including both paper and plastic packaging, and printed paper.
What is EPR?
EPR laws mandate responsibilities for producers of product packaging and printed paper. These laws use fees to address end-of-life management of covered products. The fees are based on the recyclability of a covered product and are designed to provide an incentive to design products that are easier to reuse or recycle. Learn more about EPR and the impact on the printing industry.
State EPR Legislative Summaries
More than 120 EPR laws addressing over a dozen types of consumer products have been enacted across the United States. Regulations for products such as automobile batteries, electronics, mobile phones, paint, pesticide containers, carpet, mattresses, thermostats, and pharmaceuticals are commonplace. But now states are focusing their EPR regulation efforts on producers of printed paper and packaging materials. To learn more about the compliance requirements in states that have passed such EPR laws, read our detailed briefs found below.
Maine’s Implementation of Its Extended Producer Responsibility Law
On July 13, 2021, Governor Janet Mills signed into law LD 1541, “An Act to Support and Improve Municipal Recycling Programs and Save Taxpayer Money” making Maine the first state to enact an extended producer responsibility (EPR) law for packaging. The intent of law is to provide support to municipalities in their recycling efforts with the ultimate goal of improving recycling of packaging material in Maine.
Implementation of the Oregon Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act
Governor Kate Brown signed the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act (Senate Bill 582) into law on August 6, 2021. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has been tasked with implementing the new law and informing interested parties. The law went into effect on January 1, 2022, and the start-up phase will span multiple years with extensive planning, research, rulemaking, and stakeholder engagement.
Implementation of the Colorado Producer Responsibility Program for Statewide Recycling Act
Governor Jared Polis signed the Producer Responsibility Program for Statewide Recycling Act (HB22-1355) into law on June 3, 2022. Colorado became the third state to pass extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation, following Maine and Oregon that passed legislation in 2021.
Implementation of the California Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act
On June 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsome signed into law SB 54, the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act. The new law creates an EPR program for printed paper and plastic packaging to be managed by a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) with state oversight by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). C