Extended Produce Responsibility Act could triple recycling rates for residential materials and lower GHG emissions
Steve Alexander, President of The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), The Voice of Plastics Recycling®, issued the following statement on New York Governor Kathy Hochul's Executive Budget proposal to enact an extended producer responsibility (EPR) program to boost recycling in the state:
"APR strongly supports Governor Hochul's proposal to create an extended producer responsibility program to enhance the recycling of packaging and paper products in New York. The proposed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Act would require consumer brands to finance the recycling of their packaging and printed paper and invest in expanding and modernizing local recycling infrastructure so that programs can handle new packaging materials as well as those not currently recycled.
New York's average recycling rate is currently an abysmal 18%, and average contamination rates in the U.S. are over 25%. Most plastic recyclers in New York are not operating at full capacity and need more material to meet the demand for recycled resin. Enacting EPR for packaging and paper could triple
recycling rates for residential materials in New York, as existing packaging EPR programs around the world have achieved recycling rates over 70%, with contamination rates well below 10%.
The EPR Act will also incentivize producers to generate less packaging overall and make the packaging they do use nontoxic and easier to reuse and recycle, fostering a circular economy for New York. Recycling more material overall would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 2.3 million metric tons each year, equal to taking 500,000 cars off the road.
New Yorkers deserve a modern, effective recycling system. We urge support for Governor Hochul's budget proposal for EPR for packaging and paper products to reinvigorate recycling, reduce waste, and put an end to the undue financial burdens of waste management and recycling on municipalities, taxpayers, and ratepayers across the state."Contact:
APR VP of Communications & Public Affairs