Extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging is heating up in state capitals across the US, both from environmental groups and plastic producers.
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging is heating up in state capitals across the US, both from environmental groups and plastic producers. The essential function of EPR is to shift the cost of packaging disposal from consumers to the companies that produce the products. It is a policy that signals major changes in the waste system and an economy-wide transition, as nearly every piece of packaging in stores would be covered under EPR.
However, this idea has been hijacked by plastic producers, big consumer brands, and companies that want to burn plastics rather than reduce it.Ineffective EPR bills, mainly those pushed by industry, will delay action on plastic reduction for years. However, EPR has the potential to be an effective policy tool for preventing plastic pollution, improving recycling, decreasing toxic additives, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions – if the legislation includes specific requirements.Beyond Plastics and Just Zero are supporting a model bill that requires:
Packaging to be reduced, refilled or reused by 50% over ten years; toxics in packaging to be reduced; a new revenue source to be established for local governments to invest in waste reduction and recycling programs; chemical recycling to be prohibited in all of its incarnations, materials that cannot be source reduced to be recycled at a 70% rate over ten years.
The bill is designed to move packaging away from single-use plastics, the most common source of pollution and a major contributor to climate change, toward reusable, refillable, and truly recyclable packaging, while funding recycling in municipalities.
Join Judith Enck, Kirstie Pecci, and Peter Blair for a special briefing on the model EPR bill on Wednesday, December 7 at 4pm. We will explain our model and the differences from other packaging proposals being peddled by the packaging industry.
Register for the event here.