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The recycling rate in the U.S. has been stuck in a rut, slowly inching up year by year, a signal that any major increases will need to be spurred by major actions.
Those on all sides of the issue may agree that changes need to be made to recycling systems, but a recent dustup over a trade group’s position paper shows they’re not seeing eye-to-eye on some ideas.
Take extended producer responsibility (EPR). It’s the concept that makes those who produce items also responsible for funding (and sometimes also operating) recycling systems for those same items.
For brands it means added costs, but also incentives to use easily and readily recyclable material. For governments, it shifts away some waste disposal and recycling expenses. And for recyclers, it means possible changes to the way they operate as well as potential new or expanded material streams.