Report: Cost-Benefit Study of Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging and Printed Paper
A cost-benefit study conducted for Recycling Reinvented by Reclay StewardEdge has estimated the total cost of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) model system for consumer packaging and printed paper (PPP) in the US state of Minnesota at US$74.2 million, or an average of US$117 per ton of PPP recycled under the program. System costs for Minnesota’s residential recycling in 2011 are estimated to range between US$61 million and US$74 million, or US$149-182 per ton collected. According to the report, the “estimates suggest that the modeled EPR system could result in a substantial increase in projected tons of consumer PPP collected within approximately the same spending range as under the current system”.
A previous report in the three report series showed that Minnesota could see a 32% increase in recycling of PPP by using an 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 study modeled the effects of EPR in a single state using state-specific data, but Recycling Reinvented hope that the methodology and analysis findings will have broader applicability. The goal of the study is to help advance the national dialogue on how to achieve higher recycling rates, greater system efficiency, and sustainably financed recycling programs.
The first working paper in the series presented the study design, guiding principles, and assumptions. The website MarketBasedRecycling.com was created to house all details of the study for more in-depth information.