Our recycling system isn’t working — here’s what we can do instead

By Alejandro Pérez, World Wildlife Fund
The Hill
March 10, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — A mere 9% of plastic is recycled in the United States each year. Plastic waste in our country grows unabated because the U.S. operates a patchwork of largely ineffective recycling systems that don’t create enough incentives for consumers and businesses to reduce their plastic footprint. …Lawmakers should shift the financial responsibility of collecting, recycling and reusing plastic packaging materials from consumers and municipalities to the producers of plastic products by establishing a national Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy. Under an EPR framework, companies would cover the costs of recycling their materials and face penalties for using packaging that’s difficult to recycle or for not including recycled materials in their packaging. As a result, recycled materials would become more readily available and economical over time. EPR policies have already been adopted in multiple states, including Colorado and California. …Members of Congress should take these practical steps now.

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