State by State: Navigating Implementation of Consumer Packaging EPR

Mar 14, 2024, 10:53 AM
Content author:
Abby Blocker
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As highlighted in ISRI News’ article on Extended Producer Responsibility for consumer product packaging, several states are in the process of stakeholder dialogues, public comment periods, and regulatory developments.  

Plastic packaging and paper products saw significant action in the last three years with four states, California, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon, enacting EPR legislation for packaging materials, signaling a shift toward addressing the environmental impact of such materials, and the need to increase collection and recycling rates of consumer packaging.  

The laws differ slightly in terms of products covered, the number of Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs), and their implementation dates. 

  Maine | LD 1541  Oregon | SB 582  Colorado | HB 1355  California | SB 54 
Products Covered   Packaging  Packaging, printed paper, food service ware  Packaging, printed and other paper   Single use packaging, plastic food service ware 
Producer Responsibility Organization  Single under state contract   Multiple possible immediately  State approves single initially, multiple possible after 2028  State approves single initially, multiple possible after 2031 
Advisory Council  No  17 voting members, appointed by Governor and 2 non-voting legislators  13 voting members, two non-voting members – created by Colorado CDPHE  13 voting and three non-voting members, created by CalRecycle 
Eco-Modulation  Yes – PRO develops  Allowed – PRO develops  Allowed – state develops  Allowed – PRO develops 
Recycling Goals   State develops  In law for plastic  PRO develops  In law for plastic 
Producer Compliance  Fall 2026  July 2025  July 2025  January 2027 
Stakeholder Resources  ME Department of Environmental Protection  OR Department of Environmental Quality   CO Department of Public Health & Environment  CalRecycle 

Each state is at a separate stage within its implementation process, but ISRI is tracking and ensuring that the recycled materials industry stays informed as these monumental pieces of legislation navigate the regulatory process. 


In July 2021, Maine became the first state to pass a law establishing a stewardship program for packaging. Starting in 2022, Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began conducting a public rulemaking to determine the program’s details. An anticipated schedule for implementation can be found here. The program will be managed by a stewardship organization (“SO”) to be chosen by the DEP, although the selection process is still pending. 


On June 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 54 into law to address the impacts of single-use packaging and plastic food service ware.

After its enactment, SB 54 mandated CalRecycle’s director to establish an advisory board to identify barriers and formulate solutions to foster the development of a circular economy. ISRI staff participated in the last advisory board meeting on March 8. In addition, SB 54 requires CalRecycle to collaboratively develop a statewide needs assessment that will be conducted in two phases. Phase one includes evaluating the current system for managing materials covered by the law, while Phase two includes identifying the necessary actions and investments to meet the mandates of SB 54. CalRecycle released four SB 54 implementation documents on Dec. 28, 2023, including: 


In June 2022, Colorado’s HB 22-1355, known as the Producer Responsibility Program for Statewide Recycling Act, was signed into law.  

Following its passage, the State of Colorado appointed the Circular Action Alliance (CAA) as the designated Producer Responsibility Organization in May 2023. CAA was responsible for the needs assessment study, released Jan. 2024, that evaluated the recycling infrastructure, services, and costs throughout all geographic areas of the state. In addition, Colorado created the Producer Responsibility for Statewide Recycling Advisory Board that held its first meeting March 2023. ISRI staff participated in the last advisory board meeting, which was held March 13. 


Oregon’s Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act (RMA) became effective Jan. 1, 2022.  

In response to RMA, the Recycling 2024 Advisory Committee was created to provide input to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on proposed rulemaking. Its next meetings are March 14 and April 3 

Oregon DEQ’s most recent monthly RMA newsletter, released Feb. 2024, highlighted an upcoming webinar, scheduled for March 21, 2024. Hosted by the Oregon DEQ, the webinar will focus on RMA, tailored for local governments, offering insights into their pivotal role in the implementation of Oregon’s revamped recycling system.  


For more information into EPR-trends, or other legislative action within states, visit ISRI’s State Resources and Tracking resource. These webpages help members stay well-informed about legislation, categorized by state or issue area. Members can also access the latest ISRI State Update on Region and Chapter Policy Activities for bi-weekly updates. For more information, contact ISRI staff Abby Blocker, 


Photo Caption: Maine State Capitol Building. Photo Credit: MonsieurNapoléon, CC BY-SA 3.0

As highlighted in ISRI News’ article on Extended Producer Responsibility for consumer product packaging, several...
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