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Maine becomes first state to shift costs of recycling from taxpayers to companies

Gov. Janet Mills (D), seen last month at an event in Augusta, Maine, signed a bill Tuesday requiring companies that create consumer packaging to pay for the costs of recycling it.
Gov. Janet Mills (D), seen last month at an event in Augusta, Maine, signed a bill Tuesday requiring companies that create consumer packaging to pay for the costs of recycling it. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Maine became the first state in the nation to require companies that create consumer packaging to pay for the costs of recycling it when Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill Tuesday establishing an “extended producer responsibility” program.

The legislation on EPR for packaging will charge large packaging producers for collecting and recycling cardboard boxes, plastic containers and other packaging materials, as well as for disposing of nonrecyclable packaging. The income generated will be used to support recycling efforts in local communities that have long relied on taxpayer dollars.

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