Not included in the final state budget was the Governor’s proposal to require suppliers to be responsible for the paper and packaging waste they generate. These so-called extended producer responsibility requirements would impose an obligation on suppliers to manage their paper and packaging waste. One element of the proposal would require any containers not covered by the Bottle Bill to fall under the Extended Producer Responsibility law – most notably for on-premises licensees are wine and liquor bottles.
Under an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law suppliers would need to join with other suppliers to manage their paper and packaging waste. Most EPR models function to collect financial payments to local municipalities to support their costs for waste disposal resulting in higher costs to you and your customers – sort of like a tax system. This would most likely have only a modest impact on your business, except for wine and liquor bottles. Most of those companies have expressed a preference for putting wine and liquor bottles in the Bottle Bill – the devil they know vs the devil they don’t know.
Unlike most issues that fall out of the budget, this discussion is not over. There is a great deal of interest in addressing these issues before the legislature completes session in the weeks ahead.