Does Packaging and Paper Need Extended Producer Responsibility Laws?

Jan. 14, 2014 - Market-based recycling could improve recycling rates at similar costs to current programs, while taking the financial burden for administration off cash-strapped local governments, according to a study by Recycling Reinvented.

The cost-benefit analysis examines the projected outcomes of a model extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for packaging and printed paper, using Minnesota as the model state. Itís based on an analysis of waste stream data from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, costs and efficiencies of existing local programs, the outcomes of similar programs, and the successes of best-practice programs throughout Minnesota.

The model system scales up best practices around the state, such as implementing single stream recycling statewide, expanding curbside recycling to nearly 90 percent of households, establishing a more robust away-from-home recycling program and optimizing processing infrastructure to leverage existing investments in state-of-the-art technology.

The data shows that such a model could increase the recycling rate of packaging and printed paper by 32 percent, while efficiencies and savings from a statewide standardization of material collection and technology keep the cost per ton of recycled material equivalent to todayís system.

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SOURCE: Environmental Leader LLC