The Connecticut General Assembly Environment Committee held a public hearing yesterday, at which ISRI New England Chapter President Greg Mitko presented comment on proposed extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation.
The bill H.B. 7067, an act concerning product stewardship, was raised last week at the request of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). It is designed to convey to the agency unrestricted authority to identify new products for mandated manufacturer “take-back” programs, making manufacturers responsible for the flow of recyclable materials in those programs. ISRI opposes this legislation because it would potentially allow DEEP to add products such as paper and packaging materials, tires, and other commodities that already have viable recycling markets.
“ISRI believes H.B. 7067 is drafted in such a way that ignores the strength, capabilities, and vibrancy of the existing recycling industry,” the written testimony stated. “Under the proposed framework, when a product is identified for inclusion in a product stewardship program, the manufacturer of that product is put in charge of developing how the product will be recycled, including selecting and limiting recyclers who may otherwise have competed in the marketplace for those materials. In the industry, we call this “flow control” which is a concept fraught with market and constitutional complications and concerns.
Special thanks to Greg Mitko for his hard work and fantastic job testifying in front of the General Assembly.
For more information, contact Danielle Waterfield.