I am a resident of Sharon and a member of Sustainable Sharon Coalition. As such, I am concerned about the threat to our health, our communities, and our environment posed by landfills and waste incinerators. All landfills eventually leak toxic chemicals into our air and water, and incinerators pollute our air. Plastic recycling has been mostly a failure. Massachusetts currently has no plan in place to address these problems.
Three identical bills, now in the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee, would help reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and incinerators, and reduce the amount of plastic packaging waste generated in our state. Passing these bills would shift the cost of managing printed paper and packaging from taxpayers, ratepayers and municipalities to the producers that sell them. It incentivizes the use of less wasteful packaging and greater efficiency in our recycling systems. A summary of the bills can be found here.
I am writing to ask that you join 27 of your colleagues in both parties in cosponsoring and supporting H878 / S610 / S517, Acts to save recycling costs in the commonwealth (Day/Rush/DiDomenico). These comprehensive bills cover packaging and printed paper, which compose over 40% of our combined waste and recycling streams. Reduction, reuse, and use of recyclable and recycled materials are incentivized through the fee structure, and reimburses municipalities and private haulers for all costs related to residential and school recyclables.
The manufacture, transport and disposal of consumer packaging and products account for about 29% of US greenhouse gas emissions, and deplete and degrade valuable natural resources. You can learn more here: “Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices”, U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Fig. 3, September 2009.
Producer Responsibility policies have been reducing waste and costs for years in Europe, Canada, and several other countries. In Europe and Canada, for example, toothpaste is not sold in boxes, since brand owners have to pay a fee on them. Disposal costs are internalized. More efficient collection and processing systems are created, reducing overall costs.
Member – Sustainable Sharon Coalition (or Town of Sharon position or Resident – Town of Sharon)