Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-233

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING A REDUCTION OF CONSUMER-BASED PACKAGING MATERIALS.

Vote Date:

3/11/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/4/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Environment Committee

Rep. Kim Rose, 118th District

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill is intended to reduce the amount of waste left by consumers from packaging materials. It seeks to lessen the burden left on municipalities from consumers recycling said packaging materials. There is an unnecessary amount of material being used in consumer packaging that makes efforts for reducing and recycling more difficult.

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE:

-Strikes all language from the original raised bill

-Amends Section 22a-255d of the General Statutes rather than 22a-241a

-Amends reference to the “state-wide solid waste management plan” and changes said reference to “Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy.”

-Strikes references to “disposable” packaging and replaces it with “consumer” packaging

-Introduces more specific language to include volume and weight of packaging with other standards of regulations for recycling.

-Incorporates some of the conceptual language from Subsection (c) in the original raised bill, including:

● Promotion of reduction, reuse and recycling

● Establishes within the adopted regulations the creation of performance targets and parameters for verification of reductions in consumer packaging in the state's solid waste stream to at least 50 percent beginning January 1, 2024

● Defines “consumer packaging” as any material that is used for commercial, wholesale, or retail purposes.

-Changes the date that these changes should take effect from July 1, 2017 in the original bill to October 1, 2017.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Commissioner Robert Klee – CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection: Commissioner Klee stated that DEEP is energized by the Committee “seeking solutions to increase the recycling of tires, batteries, and consumer packaging.” The Commissioner emphasizes that this bill highlights the need for framework extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

The following people testified that they agree with DEEP's Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy and an EPR Program:

Cheryl Reedy, Member – CT Product Stewardship Council

Jen Iannucci, Director – Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority

Kim O'Rourke & Virginia Walton, Co-Presidents – Connecticut Recyclers Coalition

Robert Fromer – Environmental Consultant

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

American Institute for Packing and the Environment: Stated that the company has concerns about how the state is trying to improve the municipal waste stream and that there are flaws with the EPR /Product Stewardship program. They also suggested that the state should adopt Sustainable Materials Management framework modeled after the US EPA, G7 and OECD countries and should use results from the “Municipal Solid Waste Management Services in Connecticut” study to improve this bill. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Elizabeth Bartheld, VP Government Affairs, American Forest & Paper Association: Ms. Bartheld testified urging the committee “to promote community recycling programs” that are already in place throughout the state “and engage manufacturers and industry experts in discussions” for further increasing recovery of recycled products. She also believes that paper and paper-based packaging should not have recovery rates imposed on them. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Eric Brown, Counsel for Environmental, Energy and Regulatory Policy, Connecticut Business & Industry Association: Mr. Brown asked questions in his testimony asking to have the composition of various materials and their recyclability researched. In addition, Mr. Brown asked about the state's manufacturer's use of shipping the consumer packaging and companies' costs and performance around recycling consumer and other materials.

Gregory Costa, Grocery Manufacturers Association: Mr. Costa says that there are already programs that exist to address “dangerous or difficult to manage materials.” He believes that the tax proposed in this bill would create a new organization to manage which would be burdensome as well. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Jacob Cassady, Associate Director of Government Affairs, American Cleaning Institute: Mr. Cassady believes that the state shouldn't relinquish the legislature's job by creating a new program. He wants to protect the businesses and creativity as well as the economy. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Jane Adams, Senior Director of State Government Affairs, Plastics Industry Trade Organization: Among others, Ms. Adams agrees that this bill is premature and the taxes projected would hurt Connecticut businesses. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

John Chunis, Rocky Hill Resident: Mr. Chunis believes this bill places a burden on the government that isn't necessary and “will eventually lead to higher costs for all consumers, especially when buying products through the mail.” He considers the fact that every Connecticut town has a recycling program and that most people already recycle their corrugated cardboard boxes because of this. Mr. Chunis says that the state's resources could be better used studying improvements to improve the economy. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Kevin Canan, Executive Director, Product Management Alliance: Mr. Canan considers that this bill would add costly and unnecessary mandates in the state; he claims it is “restrictive legislation”. Businesses will be lost to neighboring states if this bill passes. He agrees with others who have testified that this type of action is premature because DEEP is currently studying these issues addressed through their Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Kevin Messner, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers: Mr. Messner states that the EPR is not proven to be successful for waste management purposes. In his expertise on appliances, Kevin states that appliances should be an exception to this bill because predicted recovery rates are usually overestimated. Lastly, he says that food waste does not equal a waste or recycling problem. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Kristin Power, Vice President, Consumer Specialty Products Association: Ms. Power believes that the reduction of consumer-based packaging materials “must be viewed” through the economy, and job creation and retention. She agrees with others that the current language regarding mandates and business taxes should be removed. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Martin Mador, Sierra Club: Mr. Mador suggested that the committee review a new program in Rhode Island regarding this same issue because there is “little in the bill to effectively address the issue.”

Mike Paine, Chair, CT Chapter of National Waste and Recycling Association: Mr. Paine believes that packaging is only one part of the state's problem regarding municipal waste stream and the word “packaging” can be defined in a number of ways. He also addressed questions about the state's proposed program in his testimony. Concerns regarding creation of an EPR/Product Stewardship Program were addressed in the substitute language.

Reported by: Alexandra Rice

Date: 03/15/2016