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AMERIPEN Newsletter – March, 2018
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AMERIPEN Newsletter

Table of Contents

Policy Corner

Where is Andy This Month?


In Case You
Missed It

March 2018

Policy Corner

Current 2018 State Legislative Overview

All state legislatures are now meeting and actively considering solid waste proposals that will affect AMERIPEN members.  Over the first 3-months of the year, we saw a flurry of bill introductions and activity in all 46-active states on nearly 360 bills that AMERIPEN is following, and we are now beginning to focus on smaller number of states where a number of key bills remain active.



Alternative energy (biomass)


Energy policy




Food donation


Ingredient disclosure (packaging)






Plastics (incl. polystyrene)






Single-use bags


Solid waste




Toxic chemicals





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Key States in 2018

As states are increasingly beginning to adjourn in this “short-year,” AMERIPEN is focusing on a number of key states where solid waste policy is still being considered that could impact packaging.  These states will help shape polices in their own states and beyond and AMERIPEN has been engaged advocating for policies that increase access and participation in recycling and provide states flexibility as they set recycling goals for the future.


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 testified 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 still this spring with consideration 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 has become part of the debate around DEQ’s Solid Waste Act re-write.

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The process of the SB 233 task force on reducing consumer packaging has now completed and the Committee has delivered their final report to the Legislature. The task force report, did not endorse EPR for packaging, but does reference its implementation in British Columbia.  Thus far, no EPR or solid waste goal setting legislation has been considered in the Legislature and appears unlikely in 2018.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Rob Klee of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has indicated that he still views EPR for paper and printed packaging as critical to reaching its legislative 60% goal for recycling/diversion.  However, the Malloy Administration is coming to an end and the next governor will likely shape future perspectives on this topic.

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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 continues to work on a framework that could implement (pending new statutory authority) to reach the state’s goal of increasing diversion and recycling of consumer packaging by 75% by 2020.  Under this framework, CalRecycle is considering eight potential screening criteria and data sources to determine which packaging types could be prioritized 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 filed to present final screening criteria to its Board during its March meeting and may now present this framework in April.

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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.  In February 2018 there was a deadline for passing bills from their respective committees.  Once the deadline passed, most bills were effectively killed for the year by holding them in committee under the pretense of a “study,” thus preventing a floor vote. 
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 (D)]
  • HB 447, “An Act to packaging waste” (Packaging Fee) [Rep. McMurtry (D)]
  • HB 2686, “An Act improving recycling in the Commonwealth” [Rep. Cusack (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 (D)]
  • SB 416        Resolve providing for an investigation and study of enhancing statewide recycling programs          Sen. Donoghue (D)]
  • SB 417, “An Act re-establishing the Clean Environment Fund” [Sen. Donoghue (D)]
  • SB 436, “An Act relative to public space recycling” [Sen. Gobi (D)]
  • SB 475*, “An Act relative to recycling” [Sen. Pacheco (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 Andy 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:

  • Maine – AMERIPEN is engaged as the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is supporting updates to its e-waste law, which might be indicative of future changes to its stewardship programs.  Additionally, the Legislature is moving forward with LD 1534 to create a food waste recovery database and this legislation now sits with the Governor for potential signature.
  • California – As the legislature begins hearing new legislation for 2018, while the framework that CalRecycles is seeking is not the topic of current legislation, AMERIPEN will be meeting with key stakeholders in the state in advance of the potential April presentation of a framework to the CalRecycles Board.  Andy will also be presenting to the Sustainable Packaging Council’s meeting in San Francisco to discuss state actions that are driving policy for packaging. His panel is entitled: From Local to Global: How Policy and Regulations are Shaping the Sustainable Packaging Market.
  • Iowa – As mentioned above, AMERIPEN will be participating in stakeholder discussions with the Department of Natural Resources April 30-May 1 in Iowa.

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2018 AMERIPEN Annual Meeting

Join us as we head to Washington DC for AMERIPEN’s Annual Meeting!
Key topics include:

  • Brand Perspective: Utilizing Sustainable Materials Management in the Design Process
  • Europen Perspective: Continental Shifts in Packaging Policies and Programs
  • 2018 Economic Analysis: Headwinds Facing Packaging Recovery
  • Policy Deep Dive: Increasing Access to Recycling
  • Balancing Act: Meeting Brand Goals from a Systems Perspective
  • Next Steps for the Value of Packaging in Reducing Food Waste
  • And more…

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AMERIPEN Membership Renewal

The Board and staff of AMERIPEN are committed to providing members and the packaging industry with the support needed to ensure on-going success, and we thank you for your continued membership and engagement. 

If you have not already done so, please renew your membership by contacting Katie Wallstein at the AMERIPEN office. You don’t want to miss out on the benefits of membership!

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In Case You Missed It

We think the following are valuable reads:

EPR: The good, the bad and the ugly

Who should be responsible for the life cycle of a product, especially its take-back, recycling and final disposition? How can that process produce the most benefits, and is there more than one answer? Will recycling in the U.S. be hamstrung by beverage corporation interests, or will it succeed in developing increased recycling and zero waste?

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