What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) + Why Does It Matter?

EPRv2 683x1024.jpg

Last Updated on April 1, 2023

When you purchase a product, would you like the packaging, or what’s contained in the bundle? Not certain about you however after I purchase a bag of chips – I would like the chips, not the plastic bag. 

So why can we pay for packaging, pay to do away with it, after which if/when it winds up in our surroundings, pay with our tax {dollars} to wash it up? 

What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) + Why Does It Matter?

This put up was sponsored by The Natural Resources Council of Maine. All ideas and opinions are my very own. For extra data, please see my disclosure coverage. 

Thankfully, we will repair this with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). A primary within the nation legislation was handed in Maine, the state I just lately moved to.  

But what precisely is EPR and why does it matter? Here’s every thing you must learn about EPR and the way enacting this legislation may help the surroundings. 

what does epr imply? 

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is an environmental coverage strategy through which a producer’s duty for a product is prolonged to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle. 

Here’s how the EPR legislation works in Maine: 

  • Manufacturers of merchandise can pay right into a fund based mostly on the quantity and the recyclability of packaging related to their merchandise. 
  • These funds will likely be used to reimburse municipalities for eligible recycling and waste administration prices, make investments in recycling infrastructure, and assist Maine residents perceive tips on how to recycle. 

While this legislation doesn’t restrict a producer’s packaging choices, it does shift the price of managing packaging waste from municipalities and residents onto the producers. This locations a price on producers based mostly on their packaging selections. 

See also  What’s Lyocell Fabric? And Is It Really Sustainable? 

Payments by producers will likely be based mostly on:  

This will present incentives for producers to decide on extra readily recyclable packaging and in addition use much less packaging.  

What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) + Why Does It Matter?

why does prolonged producer duty matter? 

Our recycling techniques are being overwhelmed by wasteful packaging and plastic air pollution that may’t be recycled. It’s inflicting critical issues.

In 2017, China stopped accepting our recycling. Since then, Western nations have been puzzling over what to do when the ban went into impact. 

Plastic recycling charges have dropped from 9% to 5% in recent times. While 9% wasn’t a excessive fee to start with, it’s clear by way of this drop we’re not getting higher at recycling. We’re getting worse.

Recycling has at all times been a flawed system. However, there are answers in place that may assist us scale back waste and guarantee our gadgets have the next probability of getting recycled. 

EPR for packaging is a confirmed answer working world wide for decreasing packaging waste. It will increase recycling charges worldwide (over 40 jurisdictions like Germany, Brazil, Spain, Iceland, and extra!) 

The legal guidelines additionally save taxpayer cash and supply help to cash-strapped cities. They do that by requiring massive companies and producers to assist pay for the price of recycling their wasteful packaging, a lot of it plastic. 

This additionally encourages massive companies to design higher packaging that has much less waste and might really be recycled.

What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) + Why Does It Matter?

the place have epr legal guidelines been enacted? 

Maine handed the nation’s first Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging legislation in 2021! Currently, Oregon, Colorado, and California have joined the get together, and lots of extra states are contemplating comparable insurance policies. 

See also  8 Ways to Have a Sustainable Holiday Season

how have epr legal guidelines affected europe? 

In Europe, EPR has an EU-wide mandate for various merchandise. This consists of packaging, single-use plastic gadgets, batteries and accumulators, electrical and digital gear. 

Here’s some stats on how the EPR legislation helps scale back waste and save taxpayers cash: 

  • 25 EU Member States have carried out EPR in nationwide packaging waste insurance policies
  • €3.1 billion of estimated annual charges paid by producers to {industry} and non-industry owned packaging EPR schemes in Europe.
  • 47% Packaging recycling fee within the EU-15 in 1998. 65% packaging recycling fee within the EU-27 in 2012. 

Clearly, the EPR legislation is working to scale back packaging waste, and enhance recyclability of merchandise. That means the identical legal guidelines may be utilized right here efficiently within the US.

how can I assist enact epr legal guidelines in my state?

You may help encourage your state to move epr legal guidelines just like the one in Maine. 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine, has created a bunch of sources together with a toolkit to assist different states advance this efficient answer for addressing wasteful packaging and plastic air pollution!

Be certain to take a look at their EPR for Packaging Advocacy Resources. You’ll discover academic presentation samples, informational handouts, pattern signal on letters, petitions, and a lot extra. 

To get began, The Natural Resources Council of Maine recommends you may have:

  • Lead organizers: These folks convey and hold allies collectively, are an data and messaging hub, and hold key gamers updated and on job.
  • Champion lawmakers: These are the representatives who you may be working with to move the legislation domestically, so get to know them and current to them.
  • A various stakeholder coalition: Coalitions are non permanent alliances of stakeholders through which they share dangers, prices, advantages and duties of a challenge or implementation. Coalitions create invaluable options and stimulate and facilitate data sharing.
  • Deliberate messaging & media technique: You should clarify issues by way of information, graphics, lists and maps throughout the board clearly, concisely and cohesively. 
See also  The Best Vegan Shoes: 8 Brands Making Cruelty-Free Footwear 

All of those key gamers and techniques performed a task in Maine efficiently passing the primary EPR legislation of the nation. Let’s get different states to comply with of their footsteps!

Which state do you wish to see move an Extended Producer Responsibility legislation subsequent? Let us know within the feedback!

Scroll to Top