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Extended Producer Responsibility
Packaging Waste Management Gaining Legislative Attention
Several state legislatures are considering “Extended Producer Responsibility” legislation for printed paper and packaging. EPR is a waste management system which makes “producers” (always brand owners, sometimes retailers and package manufacturers) responsible for disposal costs of packaging waste. Also being considered in many states are other types of solid waste legislation which will impact packaging. The trend is being driven by waste management funding issues, desire to increase recycling rates and the need to reduce marine debris.
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FPA Joins Industry Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management (CSMM)
FPA is partnering with CSMM comprised of other industry associations and organizations committed to increasing the recycling and recovery of packaging and paper. The coalition’s focus is to increase recycling and recovery of materials via alternatives to Product Stewardship, also known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). This objective will be achieved through proactive engagements and education programs that reach policymakers, regulators, recyclers and local officials. There is no clear evidence that EPR is effective in increasing the recycling rates. According to a study, conducted by the consulting firm Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for the Grocery Management Association (GMA), findings showed that EPR does not necessarily improve overall recycling rates and does not prompt changes in packaging design and selection. The report concludes that state governments and municipalities have, at their disposal, a range of non-EPR options that are effective in increasing the recycling rates without excess cost or administrative burden.
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U.S. Mayors Resolve to Shift Packaging-Waste Burden to Producers
The Regulatory Landscape for Packaging in the U.S. Presentation, Sara Hartwell, U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, September 29, 2009