I thought to share the article below from Recycling Today magazine, dated March 27, 2014. The article briefly describes at study from PAC NEXT and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). The report examines EPR programs in Canada, Europe and Australia. The report seeks to help industry and government work together to find ways to reduce cost and regulatory complexity in existing EPR programs and could serve as a guide for potential EPR programs in the United States and Canada, according to PSI.
I make no editorial comments at this point about the report’s conclusions, having only scanned the document briefly thus far. The report may be high level and of limited use to program designers. However, there’s probably some useful information in there for people who need to study these things. Let’s just all be reminded that Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) programs are what is needed, according to most credible observers, from concern about many product stewardship programs anti-competitive tendencies and other flaws. And the experiences of one jurisdiction in the US don’t necessarily translate well into another place, such as British Columbia (and vice versa). Frankly, I’m concerned about people studying flawed programs at this point, and concluding that all EPR/IPR is undesirable, as I’ve written before.
Here’s the Recycling Today summary:
Report identifies global best practices for packaging EPR
PAC NEXT and PSI offer insight into extended producer responsibility programs, complementary strategies.
A study of 11 international extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs for packaging has identified a series of emerging global best practices for packaging EPR designed to optimize and harmonize solutions for managing packaging waste.
The report is the culmination of two years of research by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), Boston, in association with the Policy Best Practices that Support Harmonization Committee of Toronto-based PAC NEXT. The report seeks to help industry and government work together to find ways to reduce cost and regulatory complexity in existing EPR programs and could serve as a guide for potential EPR programs in the United States, according to PSI.
“The EPR program summaries provided in this report offer a wealth of data for government agencies and industry groups around the world to evaluate, and we look forward to using this information as a springboard for critical stakeholder dialogues,” says Scott Cassel, CEO of PSI. “These programs are extremely instructive to those of us in the U.S. seeking ways to significantly boost recycling rates.”
The report examines EPR programs in Canada, Europe and Australia. Based on an initial assessment of the data collected, PAC NEXT and PSI conclude that the following attributes, when present together, can constitute a high-performing EPR program:
The program covers residential, public and industrial, commercial and institutional sources;
The program covers all material types;
The cost per ton is low;
Collection and recycling rates are high;
The value and quality of materials are high;
The program is convenient for residents and others; and
Producers take full responsibility for post-consumer packaging management.
“What this report has allowed us to do is develop an understanding of how EPR programs for packaging around the world operate—what they share in common, what they do different, what works, what could use some improvement,” says Jennifer Holliday, president of PSI’s board of directors. “It is our hope that these findings enable industry and government to collaborate on ways to harmonize packaging waste solutions.”
PSI and PAC NEXT also have identified the following policies as complementary to EPR: