A New York measure would require firms to minimize plastic and paper packaging, relieving local governments. Reduce landfill waste.
Companies with yearly incomes over $1 million would have to decrease consumer packaging, enhance recycling, and help update recycling infrastructure.
“New York produces approximately 15 million tonnes of waste a year and much of that goes to landfills, and what happens is the toxic material also then stays in our environment in perpetuity – in our water, in our fatty cells, in our bodies, and it’s not healthy, it’s a threat to public health, it’s a threat to the environment,” said State Senator Peter Harckham, chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee and chief sponsor of the bill.
Long Island discards over 200,000 tonnes of solid waste and 400,000 tonnes of waste incinerator ash.
The last Long Island landfill receives waste from 2 million people. In 2024, the Brookhaven Landfill will stop taking building debris and deposit ash trash till capacity.
We burn and dump rubbish. 1,000 years ago. “We’re utilizing 18th-century technology in a 21st-century society,” said Citizens Campaign for the Environment executive director Adrienne Esposito. This law modernizes trash management.
The paint, pharmaceutical, and carpet industries must decrease waste in New York. Maine, Oregon, Colorado, and California have package producer responsibility legislation. However, past Empire state legislation has failed to hold producers liable for waste.
“Corporations have not taken responsibility for their waste stream. Corporations should clean up. “We can,” Esposito said.
Governor Kathy Hochul supported extending producer responsibility for packaging in her State of the State address.
Shifting waste management costs to package manufacturers would save New York City $100 million and the rest of the state about $120 million.
Environmentalists said the act also helps New York reach its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 40%. The state’s output is 12% waste management.
“Statewide, we produce 7 million tonnes of paper and packaging garbage. “And yet our recycling system… remains a little flawed,” said New York League of Conservation Voters president Julie Tighe. 17% of New Yorkers recycle. That’s awful.”
Harckham intends to increase state recycling. He stated the average New Yorker produces five pounds of waste daily.
Companies would be forced to cut packaging by 10% within three years, 20% within five years, and 50% within 12 years.
Eligible producers must join a Producer’s Responsibility Organization within a year to plan for recycling rules, establish infrastructure to financially support local government recycling programs, and decrease packaging toxins.
“We need to promptly address one of the severe crises of our age: the vast amount of waste, much of it recyclable, that we make each day—and that costs taxpayers and municipalities hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted carting and recycling costs,” Harckham stated.
“The only way we can begin to alleviate the growing issue of waste pollution, which threatens our natural resources, is for the initial producers of this trash to be actively involved with the end-of-life solutions,” he stated.