Maine passes nation’s first plastic producer responsibility law

Plastic producers often bear little responsibility for the waste their products become. That's changing in Maine.

Plastic waste is a big problem for our environment, yet plastic producers often bear little responsibility for the waste their products become.

That's now changing in Maine. On July 13, Gov. Janet Mills signed into law a measure to establish the Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging program, which will require plastic producers to pay for recycling and waste disposal. It was yet another step toward a cleaner future for the state, which passed the nation's first polystyrene ban back in 2019 with Environment Maine's support.

“With the governor’s signature, Maine has chosen to stop this rising tide of plastic pollution by putting the responsibility for addressing this crisis where it belongs,” said Environment Maine State Director Anya Fetcher.

Environment Maine has advocated for reducing plastic waste in the state since 2017, building public support, delivering petitions, and working with coalition partners to win this legislation. 

Read more about the law.

Learn more about our Wildlife Over Waste campaign.

Photo credit: Rich Carey via Shutterstock