Proposed New York Law Could Change the Way America Recycles

Originally published in Waste Advantage Magazine on January 31, 2021.

New York State Sen. Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Steve Englebright have introduced a bill to require packaging producers to pay for recycling. The bill, S.1185, states that by shifting the responsibility from local government to corporate producers for the end-of-life disposal of packaging and paper products, recycling will increase, waste will be curbed and tax dollars saved.

Under the bill, producers would be required to finance the recycling of their paper products and packaging materials but would also be rewarded for enhancing the recyclability of the items. Producers would be able to comply with the provisions under the bill individually or as part of a producer responsibility organization (PRO).

The program would also create a funding mechanism to cover costs, and charges would be adjusted based on the rate of recycled content after it is used by consumers. If the bill were to be passed, no producer would be permitted to sell any covered materials unless it is covered by a PRO plan approved by state regulators.