Retiring Maine State Representative Melissa Innes joins Recycling Reinvented, a new nonprofit committed to advancing recycling rates of packaging, printed paper in the U.S. through extended producer responsibility model
May 31, 2012
– Noted Sustainability Advocate Innes to Build Support for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
Recycling Reinvented, a new nonprofit committed to advancing recycling rates of packaging and printed paper in the United States though an extended producer responsibility (EPR) model, announced today retiring Maine State Representative Melissa Innes has joined the organization as Outreach Director.
Led by a diverse group of board members from the public and private sectors, including noted environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and President & CEO of Nestle Waters North America Kim Jeffery, Recycling Reinvented aims to create an efficient recycling model for the U.S. This model can better meet the needs of the American marketplace by increasing recycling rates, reducing government spending and using private sector efficiencies to reduce the overall cost of recycling. With EPR, businesses can reuse the valuable materials in their product packaging, ensuring they have stable material streams for new products while creating efficiencies and reducing materials costs.
Recycling Reinvented takes a broad and collaborative approach, working with brand owners, packaging manufacturers, processors, material recovery facilities, haulers, labor, and local and state governments. New Outreach Director Innes will harness support from the private, public and nonprofit sectors to advocate for EPR as the preferred method for effective and sustainable resource management.
"As the author of successful EPR legislation in Maine with a proven ability to bridge the needs of business and the public, Melissa Innes is a great addition to our team," said Paul Gardner, executive director at Recycling Reinvented. "I look forward to working with her to continue building the movement to support EPR for packaging in the U.S."
Retiring this year from two terms as an elected State Representative in Maine, Innes has been a key leader in the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. Innes has served on the state's Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, promoting the sustainable management of materials.
"Our current recycling system is not keeping up pace with supply and demand. With EPR, many nations have achieved recycling rates that double those in the United States," said Innes, "and they have accomplished this when government sets a goal and gives the private sector flexibility to meet it. There is incredible opportunity for U.S. manufacturers to adopt a similar approach, and even go beyond increasing recycling rates," Innes continued. "A recent recycling study shows that if the U.S. could increase its recycling rate to 75 percent by 2030, it would create 1.5 million additional jobs."
Recycling Reinvented has already brought together more than 30 organizations to talk about the best attributes of an EPR for packaging program that could work in the U.S. Through continued conversation, Innes aims to garner support from all stakeholders, with a specific focus on industries, by showcasing the numerous economic benefits EPR provides.
About Recycling Reinvented
Recycling Reinvented is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to advancing recycling rates of waste packaging and printed material in the United States through an extended producer responsibility (EPR) model. EPR requires that brand owners of packaging and printed materials cover the cost of managing their product waste. EPR would increase recycling rates, reduce government spending, and use private sector efficiencies to reduce the overall cost of recycling. For more information, please visit recycling-reinvented.org and follow @RecyclingRnvntd on Twitter.