GCA Urges Exemptions for Greeting Cards in EPR Law Implementation
Updated: January 10, 2024
Over the last several years, numerous states have considered enacting Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation for paper and plastic. These laws transfer the responsibility for the costs of recycling and disposal of paper and plastic packaging – and in some cases, paper products, i.e., greeting cards – from communities to manufacturers and producers.
To date, four states (California, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon) have enacted EPR for paper and plastic. Fortunately, California and Maine’s EPR laws do not include taxing paper products. Unfortunately, Colorado and Oregon’s EPR laws include taxing both paper and plastic packaging and paper products, including greeting cards. All four laws contain exemptions for small businesses with gross revenues of $5 million or less.
As more states look to pass EPR legislation, GCA is engaging in advocacy to encourage exclusions for paper products and/or greeting cards specifically. While state sales minimums may currently limit the financial impact to the majority of GCA members, the precedent these bills set is problematic, and experience shows that revenue minimums can be reduced in future years. Moreover, the message that greeting cards should be treated the same as junk mail that immediately goes into the recycling bin is not desirable messaging for our industry.