Extended Producer Responsibility

F1020023Extended Producer Responsibility is the next step in U.S. packaging. Other countries have already implemented EPR programs and are already seeing increased reuse and recycling rates. In a recent report that explored the EPR systems in Germany, Belgium, and Canada provide and excellent model for an efficient and effective policy for the United States. The U.S. generates more waste than any other country in the world but recycles less than many other developed countries. There is still time to turn this around and continue to be a good example of responsibility and sustainability.

We have a responsibility as both users and producers to create sustainable resources to better our quality of life and shift our attitudes regarding the environment and its longevity. It’s simple, with EPR, the producer of particular products is responsible for managing the life-cycle of materials of the packaging. A policy that ensures this responsibility would create a positive incentive among the producers of packaging and would incorporate more efficient reuse and recycling laws.

“The ultimate goal of EPR is sustainable development through environmentally responsible product and package development and recovery.” This responsibility was divided into five basic types by Thomas Lindhquist: Liability, Economic responsibility, Physical responsibility, Ownership, and Informative responsibility. Identifying these areas and implementing proper procedures will increase the United States stance on reuse, recycling and sustainability.

 

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Map of State EPR Laws

Current as of November 2013

October-2013-EPR-Map

Source: Product Stewardship Institute