Maryland House Examines Bill to Cut Packaging Waste, Shift Costs Onto Producers

By Dorothy Hood, Capital News Service

Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill designed to reduce packaging pollution while shifting the cost for disposal onto packaging producers, rather than taxpayers.

HB 284 will prohibit producers of packaging materials from selling or distributing their materials unless the producer has an approved producer responsibility plan, and failing to hit the plan targets can incur fines. The bill will require the Department of the Environment to conduct a statewide recycling needs assessment every 10 years, penalizing producers who are less sustainable and produce more packaging materials. The manufacturers producing packaging that is more eco-friendly will pay less.