Letter to the editor: Colorado should adopt a statewide producer responsibility policy | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Colorado should adopt a statewide producer responsibility policy

Kelly Owens and Melissa Sherburne
Breckenridge and Frisco town councils

Colorado, we must do better when it comes to recycling. In a state where so many residents value our environment, only 15% of our waste is recycled. That is less than half the national average and below our state goal of 28%. Recycling is one of the most effective ways to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and one proven solution to increase our recycling rate is to adopt a statewide producer responsibility policy.

Frisco and Breckenridge are committed to sustainability and climate action. Even at our current recycling rate of 15%, Colorado reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 1.9 million metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of 407,000 fewer cars on the road. To hit our greenhouse reduction goals, it is critical we implement statewide solutions that we are all a part of.

A statewide producer responsibility policy is that solution for recycling. It would require companies that utilize packaging (like Amazon or Coca-Cola) to pay for a statewide recycling system for cardboard, plastic, metal, paper, glass and other common recyclables. Companies pay into this recycling system based on the type and amount of packaging they use, creating an incentive to use less packaging or easily recyclable packaging. Money collected is used to pay for recycling for all residents of Colorado at no cost to them or to local governments. In 2015, Colorado passed a similar producer responsibility program for paint that is incredibly successful. It just makes sense that companies that utilize packaging for their products help recycle that packaging.

There has never been a more important time for climate action. A statewide producer responsibility policy will increase access to recycling for all Coloradans, provide a more stable domestic supply of recycled materials to make new products, reduce our carbon pollution and help us reach our climate action goals.

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