BURLINGTON, VT - Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has signed a bill that will require manufacturers to fund and operate a post-consumer paint take-back program across the state. The law, which was passed by both houses of the legislature in late May, ensures the environmentally responsible end-of-life management of leftover architectural paint throughout Vermont, while shifting the managerial and financial burden away from the state and local governments.
"Dealing with post-consumer paint has been a high priority for solid waste districts and alliances, but it has come at a significant cost," said Jen Holliday, Environmental Safety Compliance Manager of the Chittenden Solid Waste District. "This law ensures that we can keep household paints out of our landfills and out of people's storage closets, and do so with funding provided by manufacturers, not taxpayers."
The passage of H262 makes Vermont the sixth state in the nation to implement an extended producer responsibility (EPR) law for paint based on a model program facilitated in 2007 by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). The Vermont law is consistent with legislation passed into law in Oregon (2009), California (2010), Connecticut (2011), Rhode Island (2012), and, most recently, Minnesota (2013). Paint stewardship programs are currently operating in Oregon and California, with Connecticut. Rhode Island, and Minnesota to follow over the next year. PaintCare Inc. - a nonprofit organization established by the American Coatings Association - will fund and oversee the implementation of Vermont's program, as it has done and will do for the other states.
Similar to the other paint take-back programs, Vermont's will be funded through a small per-container fee that manufacturers pay to PaintCare. Manufacturers pass the fee onto retailers, who then pass it on to consumers at point-of-sale. These paint recovery fees fund the entire take-back program, including collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach and administration. All architectural paint manufacturers that sell their products in Vermont are required to register with the PaintCare program.