Colorado’s largest consumer packaging producers will move forward setting fees on themselves and planning a statewide curbside recycling expansion launching in 2026, after the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee approved a state health department recommendation.

The JBC gave required approvals for a so-called “midrange” price and scope for the expansion chosen by state health officials after reviewing an in-depth rollout study commissioned by the packaging producers. The middle-cost scenario will require about $310 million, raised by the fees the “producer responsibility organization” set up under 2022 legislation will charge to their members.

The nonprofit producer organization, already running in other states as the Circular Action Alliance, is made up of consumer giants like Coca Cola, Molson Coors, Ball and Anheuser-Busch. Packaging producers with less than $5 million in revenue will be exempt from the fees and program. Recycling advocates said the final JBC step pushes Colorado to the forefront of recycling expansion nationwide, and could help create a new economy of local packaging producers that run on locally recycled materials.

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Author: Michael Booth, The Colorado Sun
Photo by mali maeder: