How to make companies responsible for the waste from their disposable products: make them pay

Companies will be financially responsible for recycling and disposing of their waste products. Two American countries decide that, who And the Oregonwhich – which created That companies that make consumer packaging, such as cartons, plastic wrap and food containers, will also have to tackle the costs of recycling and disposing of these products. there Maine law It will enter into force in the middle of 2024 AH That Oregon In the middle of 2025.

Packaging represent Approximately 28% of US municipal solid waste. Only about 53% end up in recycling bins, but according to trade associations, even less is actually recycled: 25% of materials collected for recycling in the United StatesIn fact, it is rejected and incinerated or sent to landfill.

US local governments are concerned with waste management and finance it through taxes and user fees. Until 2018 The United States exported huge amounts of recyclable materials Mainly in China. At least until the Asian country banned most scrap imports. Vietnam also followed the example. And so the United States found itself dealing with its waste.

Some US states have already passed laws making manufacturers responsible for products that are particularly difficult to manage (such as e-waste, car batteries, mattresses and tires), but new measures in Maine and Oregon are taking them a step further, shifting costs • of waste management from customers and local municipalities to producers. The goal is to incentivize companies to redesign merchandise so that packaging can be reused at a lower cost to everyone (as is the case with returns).

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New laws are the latest applications of a A concept called Extended Product Responsibility (Epr)coined by a Swedish academic in 1990 Thomas Lindqvistwhich aims to reduce the environmental impact of products by making companies responsible for the entire life cycle of goods.

This concept has already been guided by many regulations, such as those governing e-waste management (old computers, televisions, cell phones) in the European Union, China and 25 other US states. Similar measures have also been adopted or proposed in Kenya, Nigeria, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

Meanwhile, Italy in 2020 broke all records for packaging recycling, especially cardboard. It should be noted, however, that the data was produced by the parties directly involved, i.e. by Kunai (National Packaging Federation). According to them, last year, Italy was going to recycle 73% of packages which it uses by reaching the recycling targets that Europe imposed on its member states five years ago. In fact, by 2025, every country will have to recycle at least 65% of packaging.

To add to the physical recycling too Energy recovery as fuel. Also in 2020, Italy stole 83.7% of the packaging materials from the landfill, roughly 11 million tons of resources.

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