Re: Support for Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging & Paper in the Budget

March 31, 2022

Circular Ventures, LLC • Citizens Campaign for the Environment • Clean and Healthy New York • Closed Loop Partners • Environmental Advocates NY • Natural Resources Defense Council • New York League of Conservation Voters • New York Product Stewardship Council • NYS Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling • NYS Association of Counties • NYS Conference of Mayors • Pack Green Coalition • Product Stewardship Institute • Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter • Sims Municipal Recycling • The Association of Plastic Recyclers • The Recycling Partnership 


March 31, 2022 

Honorable Carl Heastie 

Assembly Speaker 

LOB 932 

Albany, NY 12248 


RE: Support for Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging & Paper in the Budget 


Dear Speaker Heastie: 


We, the undersigned, representing environmental organizations, local and international businesses, local governments, product stewardship organizations, and other waste management stakeholders, respectfully urge you to come to an agreement on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging and printed paper in the final SFY 2022-23 budget. 


Governor Hochul and the NYS Senate have proposed EPR programs in their respective budget proposals for SFY 2022-23. With Chairman Englebright conveying to us that his proposal will be released shortly, the current budget negotiation is the best opportunity for you and your partners in government to create a final EPR program that addresses the state’s solid waste and recycling crisis.


New York State is facing a solid waste and recycling crisis that requires urgent action. New York taxpayers are footing the bill of skyrocketing solid waste and recycling expenses while landfills are reaching capacity, plastic is ending up in our waterways and on roadsides, and greenhouse gases are contributing to the global climate crisis. Local governments outside of NYC are paying an estimated $80 million annually to keep recycling programs alive, while NYC is estimated to spend over $100 million a year. Communities are being forced to pull back on recycling services, or worse, having to consider shuttering programs altogether. 


New York State cannot afford to wait any longer to address our growing solid waste and recycling crisis. The status quo is unsustainable, and a major change is needed. Based on decades of experience from around the world, EPR is a proven, cost-effective solution to fix recycling, reduce waste and pollution, and save local governments money. Equally compelling is the ability of EPR legislation to encourage waste prevention, greater recyclability, increased recycled content and the removal of toxic chemicals in packaging. 


Given the fiscal implications being faced by local governments and the urgent need to implement a solution to our solid waste crisis this year, we feel strongly that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging and printed paper must be adopted as part of the final SFY 2022-23 budget. Thank you for your consideration. 


Sincerely 


Adrienne Esposito 

Executive Director 

Citizens Campaign for the Environment 


Julie Tighe 

President 

New York League of Conservation Voters 


Bobbi Wilding 

Executive Director 

Clean and Healthy New York 


Kate Kurera 

Deputy Director 

Environmental Advocates NY 


Eric A. Goldstein 

New York City Environment Director 

Natural Resources Defense Council 


Dawn Timm 

Chair 

New York Product Stewardship Council 


Scott Cassel 

Chief Executive Officer/Founder 

Product Stewardship Institute, Inc 


Gary Carrel 

President 

NYSAR3 (New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling) 


Stephen J. Acquario 

Executive Director 

NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC) 


Peter A. Baynes 

Executive Director 

NYS Conference of Mayors 


Roger Downs 

Conservation Director 

Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter 


Tom Outerbridge 

President 

Sims Municipal Recycling 


Michael P. Washburn, Ph.D. 

Senior Policy Advisor 

The Recycling Partnership 


Ron Gonen 

Founder & CEO 

Closed Loop Partners


Steve Alexander 

President & CEO 

Association of Plastic Recyclers 


James Asali 

President and CEO 

Pack Green Coalition 


Myles Cohen 

Founder Circular Ventures, LLC 


Cc: Honorable Kathy Hochul, NYS Governor  Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Majority Leader