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AMERIPEN Newsletter – February/March, 2018
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AMERIPEN Newsletter

Table of Contents

Policy Corner

This Month?


In Case You
Missed It

February/March 2018

Policy Corner

Current 2018 State Legislative Overview

Almost all state legislatures are now meeting and actively considering solid waste proposals that will affect AMERIPEN members.  Over the first 7-weeks of the year we have seen a flurry of bill introductions and activity in all 46-active states, and we are now beginning to focus on smaller number of states where a large number of relevant bills remain active, and some might have the potential enacted.
After paring down our tracking list to remove bills from states where legislation did not carry over into 2018, we are at present tracking a total of 317 bills, including bills in all but 12 states:



Alternative energy (biomass)


Energy policy




Food donation


Ingredient disclosure (packaging)






Plastics (generally)








Single-use bags


Solid waste




Toxic chemicals




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Key States in 2018

Now that 2018 is fully in motion there are a number of key states where solid waste policy, that could impact packaging, has been brewing for some time.  These states will help shape polices in their own states and beyond and AMERIPEN has been, and will continue to be engaged advocating for policies that increase access and participation in recycling and provide states flexibility as they set recycling goals for the future.


Although we are not yet tracking any new legislation in Connecticut, we continue to engage in shaping policy that is resulting from legislation that was enacted in 2016.  Members of the SB 233 task force on reducing consumer packaging first met all of last year to work on their charge of reducing packaging materials in the solid waste stream. The Committee has now has delivered their final report to the Legislature, which has now convened and is considering policy that could affect packaging. The task force report, does not endorse EPR for packaging, but does reference its implementation in British Columbia. 

Commissioner Rob Klee of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has indicated that he views EPR for paper and printed packaging as critical to reaching its legislative 60% goal for recycling/diversion, regardless of what the SB 233 task force concluded. 

While legislation is still being drafted in Connecticut, the Environment Committee will be considering a bill entitled “AN ACT CONCERNING POST CONSUMER CONTENT OF PLASTIC BEVERAGE AND OTHER CONTAINERS SOLD IN THE STATE” which is likely to impact recycled content in consumer packaging.

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As a result of two policy committees on solid waste and the governor’s interest in recycling, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) began a process, in 2017, to re-write the State’s Solid Waste Act. In 2017, the DEQ sent out the third draft of its comprehensive solid waste act rewrite for comment by stakeholders. Currently the draft includes a 30% recycling rate goal by 2025 and AMERIPEN has provided additional comments to help improve recycling goals and planning. AMERIPEN also has participated in recent stakeholders meetings on the draft legislation and will be testifying, in person, in Lansing Michigan, on March 5th before the House Appropriations Committee on the need to set appropriate goals and be adaptable for the future.  A 4th draft of the legislation is expected later in March with movement toward passage later this year. 

The Governor, Rick Snyder (R), has also proposed increasing the State’s tipping fees as a way to fund broader solid waste and remediation activities by the DEQ and this is likely to become part of the debate around DEQ’s Solid Waste Act re-write.

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In August 2017, CalRecycle staff reported during a CalRecycle Board meeting that the California diversion rate has dropped to 44%.  The California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) was quick to state that California is going in the wrong direction to achieve the 75% goal by 2020 and manufacturer mandates are needed to change this trajectory.  

Following this, CalRecycle continued a discussions, in 2017, around a framework of specific tools that CalRecycle could implement (pending new statutory authority) to reach the state’s goal of increasing diversion and recycling of consumer packaging by 75% by 2020. 

CalRecycle is still considering eight potential screening criteria and data sources to determine which packaging types could be prioritized for analysis relative to different mandatory policy approaches. Under this framework CalRecycle would evaluate which mandatory policy model, such as Extended Producer Responsibility, minimum recycled content requirements, packaging bans, etc. might be best suited to increasing collection and recovery of specific packaging types. 
 Industry stakeholders led by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) and AMERIPEN have submitted comments last year and are considering ways to push back in the legislature. Meanwhile, CalRecycle will be presenting the final screening criteria to it’s Board during its March 20th meeting.

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During this legislative session, Massachusetts saw the introduction of over 50 bills dealing with solid waste policy – from EPR for packaging, to packaging fees, to access to recycling. Before the February 2018 deadline for reporting bills, few of these had emerged from their respective committees. Once the deadline passed, most were effectively killed for the year by holding them in committee under the pretense of a “study,” thus preventing a floor vote. Key bills effectively killed were:

  • HB 412, “An Act to reduce packaging waste” [Rep. Connolly, Mike (D)]
  • HB 2686, “An Act improving recycling in the Commonwealth” [Rep. Cusack, Mark (D)]
  • SB 436, “An Act relative to public space recycling” [Sen. Gobi, Anne (D)]
  • SB 475, “An Act relative to recycling” [Sen. Pacheco, Marc (D)]
  • HB 414, “An Act to increase access to recycling” [Rep. Day, Michael (D)]
  • HB 430, “An Act to reduce solid waste, increase recycling and generate municipal cost savings” [Rep. Hecht, Jonathan (D)]
  • HB 435, “An Act establishing the commission on extended producer responsibility” [Rep. Jones, Jr., Bradley (R)]
  • HB 1744, “An Act improving recycling in the Commonwealth” [Rep. Garry, Colleen (D)]
  • HB 2928, “An Act  to create a framework to re-allocate responsibility for discarded products” [Former Rep. Kocot, Peter (D)] 
  • HB 3219, “An Act further regulating siting of solid waste facilities” [Rep. Vincent, RoseLee (D)]
  • HB 3394, “An Act to increase recycling in the Commonwealth” [Rep. Decker, Marjorie (D)]
  • SB 449, “An Act to reduce solid waste, increase recycling and generate municipal cost savings” [Sen. Lewis, Jason (D)]
  • SB 1865, “An Act improving recycling in the Commonwealth” [Sen. Moore, Michael (D)]

Seven other bills were effectively laid to rest by “attaching” them to similar legislation that advanced favorably. In some cases this meant that these bills influenced the one that advanced in some way; in others, it may have been simply another mechanism used to kill the measure.  These handled this way dealt with plastic packaging (HB 2140, SB 408 and SB 424), food donation (SB 838), solid waste (SB 439) and recycling generally (HB 2910 and HB 2916). Only one bill received an outright unfavorable report. The sponsor of SB 1832, “An Act to increase container recycling in the Commonwealth.” Now that the committee deadline has passed, the Massachusetts bills that advanced will now jockey for attention on crowded House and Senate calendars until July 31, when formal sessions end.  Several of the key bills reported out before the deadline included:

  • HB 412, “An Act to reduce packaging waste” [Rep. Connolly, Mike (D)]
  • HB 2686, “An Act improving recycling in the Commonwealth” [Rep. Cusack, Mark (D)]
  • HB 2944, “An Act to (1)] establish a solid waste management council, (2)] to require the Department to increase certain types of data collection; (3)] to impose a surcharge on waste disposal; (4)] to require municipalities to institute pay as you throw programs if they are generating too much waste for disposal per capita; (5)] to require that all waste be disposed of in clear plastic bags; (6)] to increase recycling to include mattresses, textiles and additional commercial organic material; and (7)] to require secondary markets to report contamination” [Rep. Vincent, RoseLee (D)]
  • SB 416        Resolve providing for an investigation and study of enhancing statewide recycling programs          Sen. Donoghue, Eileen (D)]
  • SB 417, “An Act re-establishing the Clean Environment Fund” [Sen. Donoghue, Eileen (D)]
  • SB 436, “An Act relative to public space recycling” [Sen. Gobi, Anne (D)]
  • SB 475*, “An Act relative to recycling” [Sen. Pacheco, Marc (D)]

(The two bills marked by asterisks were amended in committee. Neither has yet been formally published in amended form.)

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Iowa & Ohio

Despite there not being much legislative activity on solid waste in Iowa and Ohio, in both states regulatory agencies are beginning processes that are likely to evolve, similar to Michigan, to substantive changes to their solid waste acts. In Iowa, following a waste characterization, the Department of Natural Resources is convening a stakeholders group on May 1 to discuss solid waste goals in the future. Similarly the Ohio EPA is leveraging existing data and the Solid Waste Districts are discussing increasing the State’s recycling goal to 35%. In both states AMERIPEN will be participating in these discussions as they continue to play out.

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Where is AMERIPEN This Month?

As many AMERIPEN members know, Serlin Haley LLP has been retained for the last 3-years to coordinate state advocacy and outreach on behalf of the association.  These efforts have taken Andy Hackman, with Serlin Haley, around the country each month on behalf of AMERIPEN in support of state policies that are supported by our research.  Here is where Andy will be in the next month as AMERIPEN engages on state level recycling policy discussions:

  • Michigan – As Michigan continues to discuss comprehensive changes to their solid waste act (as described above), AMERIPEN will be testifying about the need to have flexible goals as the House Appropriations Committee begins considering DEQ’s solid waste act changes.
  • Massachusetts – Per above, as Massachusetts has moved forward with a number of solid waste bills, AMERIPEN will be talking with stakeholders to discuss priorities to help increase access to recycling.
  • Maine – As the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has presented its annual product stewardship report, the state now considers updates to its e-waste law, which might be indicative of future changes to its stewardship programs.
  • North Carolina – following AMERIPEN’s support for funding DEACS in 2017 budget negotiations, Andy will be meeting with NC legislators to discuss solid waste issues.
Kyla will be representing AMERIPEN at Measurement Matters and the EPS Expo in March.

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Welcome to Our New AMERIPEN Members!

AMERIPEN is pleased to welcome Kellogg’s as a new member and A.J. Gruber of ISTA as a new TAG member. Please join us in welcoming them to the organization!

Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for the AMERIPEN annual meeting! Join us for an exciting week of networking with global, national and state leaders on packaging. New this year, we are opening the conference portion of the meeting to non-members—please promote and circulate to your peers.
We will have many great sessions including:

  • An update on European packaging regulations and programs in response to the Chinese recycling ban from Virginia Janssens, Executive Director of EUROPEN
  • A deep dive in Access for Recycling Policy. Learn why AMERIPEN advocates for increased access and what’s happened at the policy level since SPC first reported only 50% of American’s have reasonable access to recycling
  • A robust panel discussion by food waste champions on the next steps being taken to advance the value of packaging as a key strategy in the fight against food waste.

Member’s Appreciation Night will include a champagne tour of the monuments at dark. Don’t wait to sign up!

Committee Update

Evaluating Policy Opportunities for Ecommerce Packaging will be launching on March 8th. Please contact Katie Wallstein if you would like to join this committee to help identify potential policy opportunities and risk of the rapidly growing ecommerce packaging stream.

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In Case You Missed It

We think the following are valuable reads:

China’s Trash Ban Forces Europe to Confront its Trash Problem

A discussion of the impact the Chinese Sword is having on recycling across Europe.

In my Opinion: Fix the Broken System

Nina Butler at More Recycling discusses the need to focus on increased post-consumer material as a way to drive efficiencies across the recycling system.

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more Calendar

5/30/2018 » 6/1/2018
2018 AMERIPEN Annual Meeting

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