ISPA just defeated several bills in Rhode Island that would have required the mattress industry to develop and operate an “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) program for discarded mattresses. An EPR program requires manufacturers to fund and operate a system for collecting and disposing of their products at the end of their useful lives. The Rhode Island legislation would have required the mattress industry to establish such a system specifically for mattresses discarded in Rhode Island and to shoulder all associated costs. This significant victory for the industry follows ISPA’s success in defeating similar EPR legislation in Rhode Island last year and a separate mattress EPR bill in Connecticut earlier this year.
ISPA testified in opposition to the various used mattress EPR bills in Rhode Island and worked with manufacturing and retail groups in the state, as well as a new multi-industry group that ISPA helped found called the Product Management Alliance, to lobby against the legislation. ISPA supports the responsible recycling of used mattress materials, but the state level approach taken in the Rhode Island bills would have imposed unreasonable costs and logistical burdens on the industry. The state’s legislature adjourned early this morning without voting on any of these bills.
We expect both Connecticut and Rhode Island, and possibly others, to reintroduce this legislation again next year. We also continue to fight mattress EPR legislation in California (where the state legislature adjourns in August) and will keep members updated on developments there.
Thank you to all ISPA members and others for your hard work and support.