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Go Maine! Get it. Crack down on those producers.

June 10, 2010

H U G E,   G A M E  C H A N G I N G   N E W S. In the lovely state of Maine.

Okay, this happened in March of 2010 — but Jay Bassett, a contact at the EPA- Division 4, just told me about it >>

The state of Maine passed a “Producer’s Responsibility Law”.  More formally known as LD 1631; An Act to Provide Leadership Regarding the Responsible Recycling of Consumer Products. It was signed into law by Maine Governor John Baldacci.

The law establishes a process for creating “product stewardship programs” for products and packaging that are difficult to recycle, moving the physical and financial responsibilities for managing post-consumer products from the general taxpayer to producers, consumers, and others who benefit from products sold and used. That means if you are a designer or producer of products, you can no longer just manufacture crap and expect consumers to take all of the burden for properly disposing of it!

Although Maine’s framework is the most extensive, the changes don’t stop here:

+ Producer responsibility legislation for a range of products and packaging has been introduced in the last four years in 32 state legislatures.  Comprehensive framework bills have been introduced in six states

+ In 2009, two national organizations of local elected officials — the National Association of Counties and National League of Cities — adopted resolutions calling for producer responsibility, including the framework approach.

+ Local governments are adopting resolutions calling for producer responsibility state legislation, including framework legislation.  In California, 81 local jurisdictions and regional or statewide local government associations have adopted such resolutions.

WHOA! If you are a product designer, that probably just blew your mind. If it didn’t blow your mind, reconsider where you stand in the grand scheme of designing and manufacturing products — because this law affects everyone.

Information from this article is from the  Product Policy Institute — a site worth checking out if design and public policy interest you.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cristina del Rosario permalink
    June 10, 2010 16:36

    !!!!!!!! yesssss- my dream come true! if only… it could be for the whole world pls! i thought this concept was amazing when I first heard of it because it is now in the companies best interest to incorporate sustainable design methods!

  2. June 11, 2010 12:30

    A former professor of mine at Tech, John Leffler, said a very important point about this law recently —

    ” if only a few states do this, what you’ll find is that producers won’t sell there…or will sell at a competitive disadvantage.”

    Very, very true. I wonder what other states have these laws in the making? Eventually will all of them?

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