An Act To Strengthen Recycling of Single-use Plastic Shopping Bags
Sec. 1. 38 MRSA §1605, as repealed and replaced by PL 1991, c. 475, §1, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
§ 1605. Plastic bags; recycling
Sec. 2. 38 MRSA §1605-A is enacted to read:
§ 1605-A. Plastics Recycling Fund
The Plastics Recycling Fund, referred to in this section as "the fund," is established within the department for the purpose of promoting recycling efforts related to plastics, including establishing a statewide program or county programs to promote plastics recycling and to educate the public about plastics recycling and about the benefits of the alternate use of reusable bags and establishing other programs that carry out the purposes of the fund as determined by the commissioner. The fund is administered by the commissioner. The fund is funded from surcharges collected under section 1605, subsection 5. The money deposited with the Treasurer of State to the credit of the fund may be invested as provided by law. Interest on these investments is credited to the fund. Any unexpended money in the fund may not lapse, but must be carried forward to the next fiscal year. Money in the fund must be used for carrying out the purposes of the fund after reasonable costs for the administration of the fund are deducted.
This bill requires a retailer to assess a 5¢ surcharge for a plastic bag designed for one-time use distributed to a customer at the point of retail sale. A retailer retains 2¢ from the surcharge for administrative costs. The revenues from the plastic bag surcharge are credited to the Plastics Recycling Fund administered by the Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of promoting recycling efforts related to plastics. A retailer may provide recyclable paper bags to bag products at the point of sale. A retailer must provide reusable bags for purchase by a customer.