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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.

An operations professional dedicated to developing competitive advantage through sustainable business strategies, Thomas’ specialties lie in driving operational efficiencies and project management. His experience ranges through a variety of industries including agriculture, renewable energies and online media. Professionally, his passions… [Read more about Thomas Miner]


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