SPI-NAPCOR Recycling Grant Program Concludes with Positive Results 
As part of its mission to pursue zero waste through education and recycling programs, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association and partner, the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), today announced favorable results of a pilot grant program designed to increase and promote the recovery of PET (polyethylene terephthalate, #1) thermoforms.

Top European Business School study finds EPR ineffective 
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The white paper prepared by theINSEAD Social Innovation Centre with the support of European Recycling Platform identifies five main causes that currently limit or disrupt the stability and effectiveness of EPR.

Werner Braun: New duties for carpet lobbyist  link
There are times when it’s really vital to have someone you know and trust overseeing all that’s going on within your own industry. So we at the Carpet and Rug Institute are truly delighted to have one of “our own,” so to speak, monitoring what’s going on in our industry on both state and federal levels.

Commentary on EPR in Environmental Leader  link
Laura M. Thompson, Phd, is director of sustainable development and technical marketing at Sappi Fine Paper North America. She provides some commentary on EPR and the overall recycling debate.  She notes that recovery rates for paper products are very high, and that 70 percent of US households have access to paper recycling facilities.

Rhode Island Commission Releases Its Findings
After initially previewing its findings in April, the Rhode Island Special Legislative Commission to Study Producer Responsibility for Paper and Packaging released its official recommendations.

California Lawmakers Oppose New Mandates on Producers
As reported by the Associated Press, California lawmakers have opposed an effort to put new, burdensome mandates on producers.  Last week, the legislature failed to act on AB 521, legislation dealing with marine debris.  Speaking of the problems with the bill, one lawmaker told the AP "I agree that cleaning up our oceans should be something that’s very, very important to us, but this bill places the burden of compliance directly on the producers instead of the violators, the people who are littering."

New Webinar Series on Foodservice Packaging Recovery
The Foodservice Packaging Institute is sponsoring four hour-long webinars on foodservice packaging recovery. The group is in the second year of a project designed to develop strategies to recover more foodservice packaging, and the webinars represent an effort to "connect recyclers, composters, MRF managers and recycling officials" with the project. Learn more by following  the link to the FPI website.

Rhode Island Special Commission Previews Its Findings  • link

A special commission sponsored by the Rhode Island Senate has been meeting for months to discuss ways to encourage recycling in the state. The commission recently met to preview its findings.

Paper Recovery Continues to Be a Success Story  • link

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recently announced the 2012 paper recovery rate. The rate has doubled since 1990 and remains above the trend line for the industry to achieve a goal of more than 70 percent recovery by 2020!  AF&PA CEO David Scheible stated that "Our industry’s success in paper recovery is due in large part to the voluntary, market-driven product recovery system that we and so many others have fostered."

Resource Recycling Looks at Foodservice Packaging Institute Efforts 

As explained on the FPI website, "the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s ongoing packaging recovery initiative is seeking to capture more of what’s being thrown away at restaurants and other establishments where foodservice packaging is found." Read more about their efforts with this link.

Plastics Industry Adds New Sustainability Expert  • link

SPI, the Plastics Industry Trade Association, recently announced the addition of a new Director of Recycling who will lead the group's new recycling initiative. The Director will help the association develop and manage its drive toward full recovery and re-use of post-industrial plastics. 

Industries Tout Success of Voluntary Initiatives at Rhode Island Hearing

Representatives from a wide array of industries recently presented testimony before the Rhode Island Senate Commission to Study Producer Responsibility Models for Paper and Packaging. At the hearing, manufacturers shared the many ways industry is working to increase recycling without new mandates and expressed concern that new government programs in other countries have not delivered on their promises.

"Effective Solutions...at a Fraction of the Cost" • link

GMA President Pamela Bailey writes in Retail Leader about research into industry initiatives to reduce waste. As she writes, “the best news is that [these voluntary solutions] are as effective as government mandates, like extended producer responsibly, at a fraction of the cost.”

Grocery Manufacturers Association: EPR programs not cost-effective

In a new report, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) takes issue with extended producer responsibility for consumer products, including food and beverage products. GMA studied recycling rates, costs, and packaging changes in Europe and Canada and concluded that EPR programs there do not generally lead either to higher recycling rates or to more efficient package design. Indeed, in this market segment “non-EPR policies can achieve high recycling rates within a reasonable cost” and tend to be more cost-effective than EPR programs.

CEA’s Walter Alcorn interviewed at Resource Recycling Conference

At the recent Resource Recycling Conference in Austin, TX, Waste & Recycling News found areas of agreement between proponents and opponents of extended producer responsibility. Walter Alcorn, VP of environmental affairs and industry sustainability for the Consumer Electronics Association, a PMA member, explained that industry is working together toward a “national solution” for electronic recycling, and noted that collections have increased 53% since 2010.

SAIC releases evaluation North American EPR programs • link
A study by SAIC finds that the more than 120 legislated EPR programs in the U.S. and Canada have had "mixed success" in meeting their intended objectives. Although some costs have been shifted to manufacturers and consumers of recyclable products, EPR programs overall were not found to have had much influence on product design, partly because programs are disjoined and are not uniform across different jurisdictions. Moreover, EPR programs generally were not found to have significantly improved recycling rates, except in situations where they were supported by industry and backed up by governments playing “an active supporting role through programs, policies, and enforcement.”

SPI and NAPCOR announce thermoform recycling grants • link
SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association (SPI) and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) awarded grants to three United States recycling operators to create model programs for the collection and intermediate processing of PET thermoformed packaging, including clamshells, cups, trays, boxes and lids.

ecoRI news reports on Rhode Island EPR legislation • link
This online environmental news site, funded in part by Whole Foods stores in Rhode Island, reports that local retailers testified against legislation to require in-store recycling of medical sharps, citing the health risk to employees. The Legislature put that proposal into study, along with other legislative initiatives regarding recycling of paint and fluorescent light bulbs.

New York Times focuses on extended producer responsibility • link
A trend article and accompanying slide show in the New York Times’ business section examines corporate EPR initiatives. Coca-Cola, Alcoa, Starbucks, Stonyfield Farms, Whole Foods and Walmart are among the firms featured.

Washington Post profiles firm recycling carpets • link
In its real estate section, the Washington Post reports on efforts of Shaw Industries to collect and recycle some of the more than 800 million square yards of carpeting that get replaced annually in the U.S.

New director outlines goals for Clean Water Action Rhode Island • link
Providence Business News interviews Jamie Rhodes, the new director of the Rhode Island branch of Clean Water Action, who calls for extended producer-responsibility programs and enforcement mechanisms with more “teeth.”

Ontario orders sweeping review of hazardous waste recycling program

The Globe and Mail reports that Ontario’s Environment Minister has ordered a sweeping review of the body that oversees hazardous waste recycling, two years after it angered consumers by imposing “eco-fees” on some products.

EPA adjusts 2010 PET recycling rate • link
This article reports that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency updated a 2010 municipal solid waste study, showing that recycling of PET containers was significantly higher than previously reported (29.2%, not 21%).

Significant new industry initiative to push recycling forward • link
This editorial in “Resource Recycling$rdqho; applauds the newly-formed Action to Accelerate Recycling, which recently set a goal of boosting recycling rates by 20% in three years.

Plastic Bag Recycling Up 50% Since 2005 • link
This article highlights a report from the American Chemistry Council that indicates that plastic recycling reached a record high rate in 2010.

Solid Waste Industry Announces New Policy on Product Stewardship • link
This press release notes that that National Solid Wastes Management Association's new policy on product stewardship will focus on shared responsibility.






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