The proposal passed by the state general assembly requires that paint companies selling paint in Rhode Island take responsibility for collecting and reusing, recycling or disposing of the products.
The proposed legislation, House Bill 7233 sponsored by Rep. Donna Walsh and Senate Bill 2083 by Sen. Dominick Ruggerio, now awaits the governor’s decision on whether to sign it into law, the general assembly said in a press release.
The bill 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 would be required to supply information on where to return unused product. Only those manufacturers who participate in the program could sell paint products in the state.
The legislation also calls for the establishment of collection sites statewide, as well as consumer education.
The assembly said the surcharges can’t exceed the cost of the program. The financing must be approved by the state Department of Environmental Management.
The program is supported by the paint industry, which formed a nonprofit organization, Paint Care, to administer it, the assembly said. Such a program already is in place in Oregon, and programs have been approved in Connecticut and California.
The sponsors said that in addition to the environmental benefits the program will save the state money in handling paint disposal.