Report: Minnesota Could Cost-Effectively Increase Consumer Packaging and Printed Paper Recycling 32% Through Producer Responsibility
A newly released report shows that the US state of Minnesota could see a 32% increase in recycling of consumer packaging and printed paper (PPP) by using an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model incorporating harmonization of materials collection, increased single-stream collection, slightly more curbside collection, and an away-from-home recycling program. A statewide recycling rate of 61% could be achieved for recyclable consumer PPP, and a higher rate is possible for household PPP. The model approach would cost approximately US$72 million, compared to estimated current household spending on recycling of US$61-$74 million. Future efficiency improvements at material recovery facilities could provide an additional savings of US$10 million annually.
“Many advocates, both for and against, are making arguments based on theory or models from other countries that have implemented EPR for packaging and printed paper but no one has yet to do a truly data-rich analysis of how a system designed uniquely for America could work. We commissioned this study to ensure that business, environmental and legislative stakeholders can consider the issue from an informed position.” said Paul Gardner, Recycling Reinvented’s executive director, in an accompanying media release.