Rethinking Plastic Waste Solutions: Extended Producer Responsibility and Corporate Innovation in the U.S. and Southeast Asia
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Even before China’s 2018 National Sword Policy halted imports of post-consumer plastic scrap and threw global recycling markets into disarray, cities from Chicago and Berlin to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur were already struggling with the costs and logistics of collecting, sorting, and recycling their plastic waste. A recent Pew report estimates that without decreases in plastic production and increases in recycling, by 2040 plastic pollution entering the ocean will triple from 11 to 29 million metric tons each year.
To rethink and reboot waste infrastructure and financing to decrease and better manage single-use plastics, policymakers are adopting extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws. Based on the polluter pays principle, EPR for packaging legislation requires plastic, paper and other product producers and brand owners to take responsibility for the end-of-life management of their packaging. Concurrently, corporations around the world are also taking voluntary action to close the loop on plastic packaging through investments in waste management and eco-design.
The speakers at this panel will discuss growing trends in EPR policy and corporate action in the United States, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Scott Cassell and Sydney Harris (Product Stewardship Institute) will begin with a brief introduction to EPR and the current trends and emerging policies in the United States. Jazlyn Lee (WWF-Malaysia) will speak about the progress and EPR development in Malaysia and how WWF is working with a corporate alliance to reduce plastic packaging. Karyanto Wibowo (Danone) will discuss how top global and Indonesian food and beverage companies have established a Packaging Recovery Organization to collaboratively ramp up efforts to reduce plastic packaging waste in Indonesia.
This meeting is part of the Turning the Tide on Plastic in Asia project, co-led by the China Environment Forum and Institute of Developing Economies. Made possible with support from the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership.
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