Some New York lawmakers have proposed new legislation that would shift the cost of recycling away from municipalities to the producers of packaging and paper products. However, critics say this could really hurt the newspaper industry.
It’s called the Extended Producer Responsibility Act. Other countries have similar laws, but unlike this one — they exclude newspapers.
Critics of the New York bill argue that the newspaper industry has been hurting for a while due to big tech competitors and the COVID-19 pandemic — and burdening them with recycling costs will further limit access to local news.
Newspapers are already recycled at a far higher rate than any other recyclable product. That’s because of a 1989 agreement between the state’s newspapers and the state government to increase their recycled newsprint usage by 40% by the year 2000.
Opponents of the bill also say treating local papers like consumer goods is unfair, since they play an important role in American democracy.