MFA NEWS SCAN OCTOBER 19, 2015
- Monday, October 26, 2015HEARING SCHEDULED ON COMPREHENSIVE RECYCLING BILL
The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy has scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, October 27 at 1:00PM to hear comments on H646 – An Act to Improve Comprehensive Recycling. This legislation seeks to phase out the state’s forced bottle deposit law, eliminating the costly recycling procedure for just those containers while creating a funding mechanism for increased recycling and litter control. It is modeled on a successful program established in the state of Delaware, which recently phased out its forced deposit law while seeing its municipal solid waste recycling rates dramatically increase. The MA Food Association is working closely with representatives from the beverage industry to coordinate testimony for the hearing. For the past several months MFA has also been meeting with state Representatives and Senators to gain support for the proposal, which has been met with keen interest on Beacon Hill. A series of store tours MFA has conducted at member locations with elected officials have also been used to educate them on the proposal while showing them what our industry does to lower its carbon footprint and increase sustainability. Please contact the office if you have any questions. We will keep you informed.
PITTSFIELD POLYSTYRENE BAN LIMITED IN FINAL ORDINANCE
On October 15 the Mayor of Pittsfield MA approved the City Council’s ordinance to ban polystyrene containers throughout the town for take-out food. Originally, the ban would have affected all polystyrene containers used for any prepared foods, including containers used for packaging baked goods, cut produce and deli/party platters. Packaging for these items and take-out food would only have been allowed if said packaging was either biodegradable or compostable and did not contain any polystyrene. The revised ordinance now bans only blown, or foam polystyrene packaging used for take-out foods. MFA testified at the Council’s Ordinance and Rules Sub-committee hearing and at the full Council’s hearing that as written, the ban would affect all polystyrene containers mentioned above, not just take-out foods in blown foam packaging. That distinction was addressed in the final approved ordinance. Blown, or foam polystyrene is also allowed for packaging of uncooked meat, fish and eggs in the approved ordinance.
MA SENATE APPROVES EXPANSION OF
WORKPLACE DISFIGURMENT W/C LEGISLATION
On Thursday, October 22 the MA Senate approved legislation (S2033) that expands the scope of workplace disfigurement injuries covered under workers' compensation policies to injuries anywhere on a person's body and increases the amount of compensation workers could receive under a bill that cleared the Senate on a 36-1 vote. Senators argued that the current $15,000 cap on benefits was not fair to workers, and limited compensation only to scars on a person's neck, face or hands. The bill proposes that compensation should equal 22.5 percent of the average weekly salary, rather than the current flat $15,000 cap, which has remained the same for 24 years.
LAST CHANCE FOR MFA’S ANNUAL MEETING!
If you have not already made plans to attend MFA’s Annual Meeting next Wednesday, it is not too late! Please contact the office for tickets and information. Governor Charlie Baker will be our keynote speaker, beginning at 4:00PM, followed by MFA’s election of its officers and directors at its 109th Annual Meeting. Hall of Fame and Community Service Award presentations follow. Don’t miss it!
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