What is EPR?

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Recently, there has been more and more discussion on EPR in the plastics industry and the sustainability world. For those not well-versed in industry jargon, it can be hard to follow along. So, what is EPR?

EPR stands for extended producer responsibility. In short, the strategy aims to make producers responsible for the end-of-life of their products. To go more in-depth, EPR is a strategy that aims to target environmental costs associated with a product and reduce them by making the producer (manufacturer) of the product responsible for its disposal, recovery, or reuse. Fees generated by producers would typically fund the programs for end-of-life. The goal would be to build a circular economy that reduces single-use products and increases sustainability.

While EPR isn’t a brand-new concept, there is an increase in states considering it, primarily when dealing with packaging and paper products. The topic becomes more complex as different states start to introduce individual legislation. California, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Washington are just a handful of the states that have passed or introduced EPR bills. The legislation introduced in these states ranges in the materials regulated, producer definitions, exclusions, etc.

Sustainable Packaging’s EPR Guide is a new resource for understanding and comparing bills. Each bill has a breakdown of topics like covered products, producer definitions, targets, structure, fees, enforcement, and more. It will be important to know how EPR will affect your state and industry in the coming years; with tools like the Sustainable Packaging guide, you’ll be able to find what materials each bill focuses on or how recycling is defined.

As a producer of plastic materials, Petoskey Plastics will continue to make updates on EPR policy and how that potentially impacts our business. Stay tuned for more EPR, sustainability, and plastics content, and stay up to date by following our FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Twitter.