PRINTING United Alliance Submits Comments on Proposed Printing Tax for Connecticut
The Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management (CCSMM) released a series of public engagement questions soliciting information and input on four major focus areas including one on imposing a tax or fee on printed goods comprised of paper and packaging under an extended producer responsibility (EPR) program to increase recycling. In comments submitted by PRINTING United Alliance’s Marcia Y. Kinter, she stated that “Overall, we support the move towards strategies that can be implemented that both seek to encourage increased recycling opportunities on the part of residential and industrial facilities and provide incentives to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. We do believe that there are solutions available to accomplish this goal that do not penalize companies engaged in the production of products through the imposition of an increased user fee or tax as envisioned by an Extended Producer Responsibility program. Additionally, we encourage the state to consider pathways that do not stifle innovation that is occurring at the various levels of the supply and disposal chain to address the temporary lack of recycling capacity for many types of solid wastes, including packaging as companies adopt changes in material composition, incorporate new product designs, and address the fate of materials once consumed.”
She went on to encourage further research to help identify possible and realistic solutions. She indicated that “the paper category contains a diverse set of products, including, but not limited, to paper-based packaging as well as other materials such as direct mail, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, etc. Additionally, the category of “plastics” is also a very diverse recycled category and contains many different types of materials. To gain a better understanding of the breadth of materials identified, it would be beneficial to understand the specificity in the types of materials either currently recycled or send to waste to energy facilities. This information is critical to know prior to making any decisions on the next steps that could be pursued.”
Additionally, the comments stressed that any expansion of development of EPRs must be carefully vetted before moving forward. There are programs that have been implemented that are compatible with the recommended strategies identified such as those being used in the Canadian Provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. These programs have been in operation for many years, and Kinter encouraged the Coalition to research not only the program concept itself, but underlying recommendations regarding the stated goals and outcomes of program. Recent research on each of these programs indicate they have not met their stated goals while the costs continue to escalate.
In conclusion, Kinter urged “the Coalition to conduct additional research that not only supports concepts outlined in the public engagement questions, but also the research that questions the current path forward that has been adopted by other jurisdictions. The fundamental premise of sustainability is continuous improvement. To adopt a program without consideration of how it would impact your local jurisdictions or how it can be improved is not a sustainable practice.”
PRINTING United Alliance’s Government Affairs Department will continue to engage on this important issue. For more information please visit the Alliance’s Advocacy page for the latest up to date information on this and many other issues pertinent to the industry. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Kinter directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcia Kinter is the Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs at PRINTING United Alliance. Ms. Kinter oversees the development of resources for the Association addressing environmental, safety & health, and sustainability issues. She represents the printing industry, as well as their associated supplier base, before federal and state regulatory agencies on environmental, safety and other government issues directly impacting the printing industry.
In 2008, Kinter, in conjunction with colleagues from other printing trade associations, was instrumental in launching the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership program. The SGP Program is a registry system for printing facilities that includes third party verification. The program successfully launched as an independent organization in August 2008.
Kinter is a member of and serves as Secretary for the Academy of Screen Printing Technology. In 2001, Kinter received the William D. Schaeffer Environmental Award for significant advancement of environmental awareness in the graphic arts industry.
Before joining PRINTING United Alliance, Kinter worked for The American Waterways Operators, Inc., the national association for the barge and towing industry.
She holds bachelor’s degree in urban planning from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University.