In Waste Management World: EPR in US Set to Kick off Debate on State Self-Governance

Date: 25 Aug 2021 | posted in: Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the News: Neil Seldman

July 9, 2021

Media Outlet: Waste Management World

EPR, or Extended Producer Responsibility, is increasingly being trotted out as a strategy to transition towards a sustainable economy. EPR requires that producers be in charge of collecting, recovering, and disposing of their own products. ILSR’s Neil Seldman argues that while EPR has worked well for the members of the European Union, implementing it in an American context could be harmful. Historically, American companies have been more pressured by consumers than top-down programs. In the past, America has successfully implemented programs such as waste charges and investment in more sustainable packaging. While EPR may still be needed in some American cities where local governments cannot provide waste management services, America is a lot better suited to administer these programs instead.

From a historic point of view, Europe and the US have always had fundamentally different recycling regimes. Whereas in Europe, bottle bills… have been imposed from the top down via the Packaging Directive, consumer agitation is what finally forced US packaging companies to pledge to zero waste packaging.

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Aarushi Sen

Aarushi Sen is a rising Junior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities studying Political Science, Economics, and Journalism. She is currently involved in communications and public relations work for UMN Students for Climate Justice and UMN Multicultural Political Science Student Association, and has done research in Latin American Human Rights. Aarushi is interested in the intersection between media and movement work and is passionate about public ownership within communities.

In Waste Management World: EPR in US Set to Kick off Debate on State Self-Governance