I recently read an article on a very debatable topic with regards to recycling. The article, Waste Not, Want Not: Extended Producer Responsibility Would Require Manufacturers to Collect and Recycle Packaging, gave me a closer look at what recycling looks like today.
I was surprised to learn that recycling today in America is inefficient. Of materials that can be recycled and are in high demand, about $11.4 billion worth of it ends up in our landfills. So wasteful!
People have certainly recognized the inefficiency of the U.S.’s recycling system and an idea has been proposed to help improve it. The policy is called Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR. This policy pushes manufacturers, rather than just taxpayers and municipal governments, to take responsibility for post-consumer packaging by collecting it and recycling it themselves. Extended Producer Responsibility hopes it will motivate manufacturers to reduce the amount of packaging they produce and to find new cost-effective and efficient ways of recycling those materials. If all goes according to plan, this will increase recycling rates in the U.S. and increase profits.
Now, beverage companies have taken some responsibility for the fate of their plastic bottles and cans, but many companies in the grocery industry have side-winded this responsibility. That doesn’t seem very fair; I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of our environment. It’s like what my mother always says, “You live here too so you have to contribute.”
I think that all grocery manufacturers should be required to uphold to the EPR policy. The more people we have on board, the better our recycling rates will be and the lower our nation’s costs.
Do you think manufacturers should be required to collect and recycle post-consumer packaging? Should there be exceptions?
Information from this post also from: http://www.asyousow.org/sustainability/eprreport.shtml