Gov. Lincoln Chaffee signed the new law requiring that paint companies selling paint in Rhode Island take responsibility for collecting and reusing, recycling or disposing of the products. The signing was confirmed by Alison Keane, vice president for government affairs for the Washington-based American Coatings Association. The association created the model for the bill.
The new law calls for the creation of an unused paint recycling program in Rhode Island, managed by a paint trade organization, funded by a surcharge on retail paint products and paid by consumers. Retailers who sell paint will be required to supply information on where to return unused product. Only those manufacturers who participate in the program can sell paint products in the state.
“It’s a significant milestone for paint stewardship in the United States,” says Scott Cassel, CEO of the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute. He says the new law can save Rhode Island $1.7 million annually in collection and recycling costs.
“We’re very pleased that he signed it into law,” Keane says. “We want as many states as possible to use our model, so it’ll be consistent.”
Rhode Island follows Oregon, California and Connecticut as states with paint recycling producer responsibility laws.