May 2024 Newsletter

Newsletter: May 2024

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

May 2024: Special Edition Newsletter

Upcoming USA Registration Action for Packaging Producers

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue (blue/green gingham shirt and tan mask) and Senator John Cornyn (blue gingham shirt and blue bandana/mask) tour McLane Global, one of USDA’s partners in feeding rural kids in Texas and across America who have been impacted by school closures as a result of COVID-19.

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 The Secretary and Senator will tour the food box packing facility and participate in a discussion with partners Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, Charwells K12, and PepsiCo, on July 16, in Houston, TX. The tour is led by Mclane Global Chairman Denton McLane. Also attending are U.S. Congressman Daniel Reed Crenshaw, Texas Secretary of Agriculture Sid Miller, McLane Global CEO Todd Avery, Chairman Drayton McLane, Jr., and #MillionMeals partners Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty Director of Government Relations Grace Norman, PepsiCo Food for Good Director Matt Smith, and Chartwells K12 CEO Belinda Oakley. All USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) programs – including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs – have flexibilities and contingencies built-in to allow them to respond to on-the-ground realities in the event of a disaster or emergency situation.USDA Photo by Lance Cheung. Original public domain image from Flickr

Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by individual US states has become a rapidly evolving topic, with several states actively implementing or considering legislation. While many states already have other active EPR legislation, including for e-waste, batteries, mattresses, and paint, packaging EPR has become a prominent focus area.

Maine and Oregon passed packaging EPR laws, followed closely by California and Colorado. In 2024, Minnesota passed HF 3911, which details a Packaging EPR program, bringing the total to five US states with packaging EPR. Maryland and Illinois also passed packaging laws requiring a needs assessment of their recycling systems, setting the stage for potential future EPR implementation.

For the 2024 legislative session, seven states—Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Washington—have packaging EPR bills under consideration. Circular Action Alliance (CAA) has emerged as a key player in EPR implementation, serving as the Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) in California, Colorado, and Oregon. CAA’s involvement extends to Maryland, where it represents producers’ interests on the advisory board as they move forward with a needs assessment. Looking ahead, Maine is slated to begin the PRO selection process in 2025, with a selection expected by 2026.

For those states with active regulations, obligations exist for entities involved in the production, distribution, or importation of products using covered packaging materials. These producers must register in each applicable state, join a PRO by specified deadlines, or manage individual programs, ensuring compliance with recycling and packaging standards set by respective states.

Covered materials subject to regulation vary by state but typically include food service ware, paper products, and various packaging materials. The earliest compliance deadline for producers is set for 2025, with preliminary PRO registration requested by July 1, 2024, to aid in program fee development. Accerio is assisting our clients in registering with CAA and preparing for state requirements. Producers are advised to start collecting packaging data promptly to meet reporting requirements by 2025.

For producers uncertain about their obligations in California, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, and Minnesota, Accerio can provide preliminary assessments and ongoing support as producer requirements are evolving through final rulemaking processes. With EPR laws gaining traction across the US, proactive engagement and preparation are essential for producers to navigate this evolving regulatory landscape effectively.

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