- Rhode Island lawmakers introduced two separate bills that confront extended producer responsibility in regard to packaging.
- HB 5508 puts manufacturers to task- pushing packaging producers to create a plan that would fund recycling for 80% of packaging sold in Rhode Island by 2020. The bill is linked to efforts in ocean-waste reduction.
- HB 5673 would require state stakeholders to assess the management of existing and future extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product stewardship programs, and report and recommend changes.
At this point, there are not any states that employ a comprehensive extended producer responsibility program for printed paper or packaging. On the corporate side, BASF and Schuster announced a partnership in December 2014, to launch recycled cardboard packaging for the fast-food industry that is ultimately biodegradable.
Sarah Kite, a representative at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC), said that right now, municipalities in the state are more focused on “hard to handle” materials instead of packaging.
Rhode Island has a number of EPR programs for paint, electronics and thermostats, with a mattress recycling program underway in 2016.