The Business Council, Business Advocacy Groups, and Private Sector Employers Urge Senate Committee to Reject Expanded Producer Responsibility (EPR) Legislation  


The Business Council, Business Advocacy Groups, and Private Sector Employers Urge Senate Committee to Reject Expanded Producer Responsibility (EPR) Legislation  

Unreasonable Mandates and High Consumer Costs Will Adversely Impact New York’s Economy  

ALBANY – The Business Council of New York State, Inc., along with other private sector businesses and business organizations, are calling on members of the New York State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee to reject S.4246-B, the “Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act,” which is up for consideration on Tuesday’s committee agenda.

A soon to be released York University study estimates this bill would impose direct consumer costs of nearly $5.8 billion, or $2,300 per New York household, over a five-year period, using mid-level cost scenarios, with costs going as high as $3,100 per household.  Overall impacts on the state’s economy, considering multiplier effects, are significantly greater. York University researchers have done extensive studies on “expanded producer responsibility” (EPR) programs already in place in Canadian provinces, and in 2021 issued a cost-impact analysis of an earlier New York legislative proposal.

“It should be a real concern that this legislation has virtually no business support as the legislation falls short of the balanced approach needed for an effective EPR program for post-consumer packaging,” said Ken Pokalsky, Vice President, The Business Council of New York State.  “A successful program will require significant cooperation among the state, municipalities, and businesses, including manufacturers and users of packaging and packaging components, material processers, waste companies, and others.”

Businesses have several concerns about the bill’s impractical provisions including material bans, packaging reduction requirements, and minimum recycled content mandates, all of which allow for only limited adjustments and waivers. As a result, the bill will adversely impact consumer choices and costs while requiring producers to reimburse municipalities for recycling-related costs with no requirement that municipalities pass on any benefit to residents.

Several states – including California, Colorado, and Washington – have recently adopted EPR programs for consumer packaging and related products. However, no state has yet to fully implement one. Despite this, the New York State bill would deviate from these other state programs significantly, including a focus on phasing out plastic packaging, the exclusion of producers in program design, the imposition of disposal costs on producers, and expansive data demands.

The Business Council is working with more than one hundred businesses and business groups that believe New York can create a workable, affordable, effective packaging program. The group has made numerous recommendations to the legislation’s sponsors, including:

Establishing a more certain role for producers in designing and implementing the EPR program. 
Adopting a cost-sharing approach that includes both producers and municipalities.
Allowing producers – based on current capabilities and real-world data – to propose material recovery and recycling targets that, with state oversight, would increase over time.

The Business Council’s memo in opposition to S.4246-B is available here.