Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging bills are the new battleground in the fight to rid our bodies, communities, and the environment from the onslaught of plastic pollution.
EPR for packaging bills attempt to comprehensively address many plastic items that have not been targeted yet, like yogurt cups, chip bags, food pouches, shipping packaging, and much more. A well crafted EPR bill can reduce the amount of toxic chemicals and packaging produced, of waste created—and increase recycling and reuse rates.
Reducing both the manufacturing of new materials, and the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of, reduces harmful impacts to underserved communities, which host a disproportionate amount of these industrial facilities.
Another main point about EPR bills is that they switch the financial burden of dealing with the disposal, recycling, and cleanup of these products from local government waste management programs and taxpayers—back onto the manufacturers that produce them.
Forcing the taxpayer to foot the bill for these products is not only unfair, it leads to more waste. Hard or impossible-to-recycle packaging—and very little reusable packaging—is what we get when manufacturers aren’t incentivized to consider sustainability or the costs of managing waste when designing their products.