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Extended Producer Responsibility Can Revitalize Waste Management in U.S.

December 20, 2010 - Implementing Extended Producer Responsibly principles into the United States’ waste management practices could help it to overcome 30 years of stagnation in the space and divert more than 70% of solid waste from being sent to landfill, according to Natural Logic, Inc.
The white paper released last week, titled “Product Stewardship  & Extended Producer Responsibility: Towards a Comprehensive Packaging Recycling Strategy for the US outlines how individual states could shift the end-of-life responsibility for products from municipalities to product producers through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR); requiring them to meet specific targets for material recycling and recovery, relative to the total amount of packaging that they have put into the marketplace.
The report outlines 5 key items that any policy framework would need to contain in order to succeed:
  • Shift accountability for packaging recycling systems to Producers (usually defined under EPR policies as brand owners and first importers)
  • Create incentives for Producers to make more sustainable packaging choices
  • Maintain accountability of local and regional government for waste disposal and diversion of organics
  • Educate residential consumers and industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) waste generators and incent them to sort recyclables out of the waste stream
  • Create a standard for measuring and reporting on program performance

Based on these policy frameworks, Natural Logic has developed a strategy for a state-level pilot program, and arguments for enacting state rather than federal legislation in this area.
To learn more about how Natural Logic sees the Design for a Hybrid EPR System in the U.S. functioning, including stakeholder accountability, system financing, metrics, reporting and pilot implementation and scaling, download the free white paper here.
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