On June 15, 2021, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced over 100 businesses and more than 50 other stakeholders along the packaging value chain publicly endorsed the need for extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes in packaging. Signatories come from many industries including food producers, food packaging manufacturers, and grocery stores such as Coca-Cola, TetraPak, and Walmart. By signing, organizations agree that “to solve the packaging waste and pollution crisis, a comprehensive circular economy approach is required.”
The EPR statement affirms innovation is necessary to ensure all packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable but recognizes there are economic difficulties in publicly funded or voluntary packaging recycling schemes (FPF reported). Organizations endorsing the statement believe, “mandatory, fee-based EPR schemes, in which all industry players introducing packaging to the market provide funding dedicated to collecting and processing their packaging after its use, … [is] the only proven and likely pathway to ensure dedicated, ongoing, and sufficient funding [for circular packaging].”
Specifically, stakeholders agree to (i) ensure their entire business is aligned with the actions in the statement, (ii) constructively engage with governments and stakeholders by advocating for, supporting, and improving EPR schemes locally, and (iii) work with peers to align their EPR actions.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation (June 15, 2021). “Extended producer responsibility statement and position paper.”
Colin Staub (June 15, 2021). “EPR legislation advances in some states, stalls in others.” Resource Recycling
The Institute of Grocery Distribution (June 2021) “Sustainable Packaging Systems.”