Nonprofit Recycling Reinvented commissions cost-benefit analysis study of US recycling system for household packaging, printed paper, will define model using American Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to increase recycling rates, improve quality

ST PAUL, Minnesota , March 19, 2013 (press release) – Recycling Reinvented announced today it has commissioned a cost-benefit analysis study to provide stakeholders with a data-driven, fact-based appraisal of a recycling system for household packaging and printed paper (PPP) in the United States using American Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

The study will document the projected societal and economic costs and benefits associated with a uniquely American EPR system as well as the fees that producers will need to pay in order to finance the system. The study will develop and explore a model designed to reflect conditions and circumstances unique to the United States. The study's final report will be published in September.

The study is designed to be objective, rigorous and transparent, with the ultimate goal to generate data that helps stakeholders better understand the possible changes to the current system and the net benefits/costs that would be associated with those changes. It will be conducted by Reclay StewardEdge, a consultancy with deep experience and expertise in sustainability issues related to the end-of-life management of packaging and products.

"Our goal in undertaking this study is to engage consumer brands, packaging and paper manufacturers, retailers, local and state elected officials, recycling companies, solid waste collection companies, and other key stakeholders in a grounded, objective discussion of how best to move forward to achieve shared goals of a more sustainable and efficient economy," said Paul Gardner, executive director of Recycling Reinvented. "Although Recycling Reinvented strongly believes EPR is the best path forward, with benefits to business, consumers and governments, our commitment is to a conversation based on facts and we look forward to sharing the full results of the study with the public."

The study will analyze the current recycling system, and will clearly define a model EPR system for the United States based on policies and best practices that would increase recycling rates and improve material quality. The study will also examine the associated costs to collect and process the recovered material through EPR, the fees that producers could potentially pay to organize recovery, and the potential benefits of increased recycling. Working papers will be published in late spring and summer.

To preserve the quality and depth of the analysis, the study will focus on Minnesota as the case study state. Minnesota was selected based on an evaluation of several criteria, including the availability of cost and program data on existing collection programs and the presence of supportive policies and infrastructure already in place to facilitate increased recycling. However, while based on a single state, the study is designed to provide a modeling methodology that can be used to analyze EPR in additional states.

Although commissioned by Recycling Reinvented, which advocates for expanding recycling of packaging and printed paper through an optimized American EPR model, the study will also include a structured peer review process by a range of stakeholders who will observe the progress of the study and provide comments on the methodology and analysis, with the aim of strengthening the quality and impartial presentation of the results.

About Recycling Reinvented

Recycling Reinvented promotes increasing recycling rates of waste packaging and printed material in the United States through an extended producer responsibility (EPR) model. With a diverse group of board members from the nonprofit and private sector, Recycling Reinvented builds a coalition of supporters from the public, private and nonprofit sectors in order to make EPR for packaging and printed materials a preferred method of managing valuable waste. hopes to be a place where industry, government, and nonprofit organizations can come to find out how EPR works, how it can increase recycling rates, and what will be required to make it work.

About Reclay StewardEdge, Inc.

Reclay StewardEdge is based in Toronto with offices in other Canadian provinces and US states. A consultancy with deep experience and expertise in sustainability issues related to the end-of-life management of packaging and products, the company provides consulting and program management services related to product stewardship on behalf of clients in North America and internationally. Its principals are considered pioneers in the recycling and sustainability field, with each member of their core team averaging 30 years of experience in the conceptualization, design and delivery of complex projects within the industry.

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