When Maine consumers buy something from companies large and small, they must often pay to dispose of all the cardboard and plastic that it’s packaged in. Businesses could soon shoulder more of those costs under a bill that was supported by Maine’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

The bill sponsor submitted the bill because it has become expensive for Maine communities to recycle household trash, and as a result, they’re sending more of it to the landfill. Representative Nicole Grohoski, an Ellsworth Democrat, has sponsored a bill that would make companies pay a fee when they sell packaged products in Maine. Maine would be the first state in the nation to try this approach.

The funds would be paid out to communities to help them recycle.

Some companies have opposed the bill. They argue it would increase prices and the cost of doing business.

But on Monday, the Legislature’s ENR committee voted eight-to-three to recommend an amended version of Grohoski’s bill, and it voted against a similar bill from Sen. James Dill of Old Town that had more protections for industries.

The head of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection spoke in favor of Grohoski’s bill.

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.