Letter: Holding manufacturers accountable for plastic packaging is good policy

Doesn’t everyone want the nature they’re surrounded by to be healthy? Especially true in our beautiful Rocky Mountains, we appreciate our aspen trees, trout-filled rivers and white tailed deer. We live with respect for these natural creatures. That’s why we also need to work to protect nature.

This past legislative session, several measures were passed in Colorado that protect our environment. One of the bills is meant to rebuild homes sustainably after wildfires, and another works to build safer wildlife crossings. These laws demonstrate the active protection of our earth.

One major threat to the health of the natural landscape is plastic pollution. We are a headwater state. This means the plastic flowing in our Colorado rivers can be carried into the next state until it reaches the ocean. More than 40 million people rely on the Colorado River, so how well we take care of our environment not only affects us, but others as well.

This natural interconnection shows us that we have to be careful with our plastic, and the best way to decrease plastic pollution is to produce less plastic in the first place. Fortunately, one of the environmental measures passed in the last legislative session works to protect the nature we Coloradans value so much.

The recently signed bill creates a Producer Responsibility Program for Recycling. This new system targets those primarily responsible for plastic creation: large corporations. The bill holds them accountable by charging for each layer of packaging they use. 

Steamboat Pilot reporter Suzie Romig explained that “Colorado will become the first state in the country to create a producer-funded statewide recycling system for consumer-facing packaging.” In her article, “Recent state legislative session productive for environmental measures,” Romig describes several environmental victories, and she highlights the piece of the Producer Responsibility bill that encourages large corporations to recycle their packaging. 

Now that the bill has passed, all that’s left is for lawmakers to implement it in a way that encourages these corporations to use more sustainable materials. We want to keep our mountains beautiful — let’s make sure they help us do it!

Jordan Koler,


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