Study Recommends EPR to Improve Packaging Recycling

Allan Gerlat, News Editor

July 18, 2012

1 Min Read
Study Recommends EPR to Improve Packaging Recycling

A new study on packaging recycling concludes that the United States’ lagging rates result in significant market inefficiencies and a strain on taxpayers and the environment.

The study, released by the San Francisco-based environmental non-profit organization, As You Sow, estimated that the value of wasted, recyclable packaging materials exceeded $11 billion in 2010.

The report recommended a shift in the collection and recycling of post-consumer packaging from taxpayers to packaging makers, or extended producer responsibility (EPR), according to a news release.

“Unfinished Business: The Case for Extended Producer Responsibility for Post-Consumer Packaging,” also details how EPR can provide producers with the incentive to reduce the packaging they generate, increase packaging recycling rates, provide revenue to improve recycling systems and reduce carbon and energy use.

Packaging represents an untapped opportunity for producer responsibility, the study claims, because the raw materials in packaging, such as petroleum and fiber, are expected to become increasingly scarce as world population reaches 9 billion by 2050.

About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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