Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed the Environment and Natural Resources Supplemental Budget Bill, which includes a statewide extended producer responsibility (EPR) program for paper and packaging. Minnesota joins California, Colorado, Maine and Oregon in enacting this type of legislation. 

The law, known as the Packaging Waste and Cost Reduction Act, requires the producers of packaging and paper products to financially support the statewide improvement and expansion of recycling programs. In general, companies that sell packaged products under their brand names will be required to join a producer responsibility organization (PRO) that will collect producer fees to implement this law. The law requires producers to choose a producer responsibility organization by Jan. 1, 2025. The PRO then must submit a stewardship plan by Oct. 1, 2028. Under the law, brand owners are required to pay 50% of the residential recycling cost starting July 1, 2029, increasing to 75% in 2030, and to 90% by July 1, 2031. 

Unlike earlier drafts, the final law does not include specific performance targets. Instead, a future needs assessment will be used to determine potential targets for recycling, composting, waste reduction, reuse, return rates, and post-consumer recycled content usage. 

As previously reported, ISPA is monitoring the implementation of paper and packaging EPR laws in four other states. This past ISPA Insider writeup includes important information about a looming July 1, 2024 registration deadline for brand owners of packaged products sold in California, Colorado and Oregon.