Highlight: Packaging EPR

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An extended producer responsibility for packaging and paper products would require brand owners ("producers") to pay for and manage a statewide recycling system for packaging and paper products - including cardboard, plastic, metal, paper, and other common recyclables.  The producers would form an independent nonprofit organization, called a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO), to coordinate, fund and manage a statewide recycling system and create one consistent statewide list of what can be recycled.   The PRO will cover 100% of the costs of recycling collection and processing for single and multi-family residences; public and private schools (K-12); state and local agencies; and public spaces including but not limited to parks, trails, transit stations, and pedestrian areas.

Diverting waste from landfills to be recycled and reused is good for the planet.  Recycled content products use less resources and have a lower impact on the environment. In some cases, extracting new resources from the Earth can cause significant harm to the environment and human health.  Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

A secondary benefit comes from the eco-modulation aspect of the legislation.  When producers use packaging that is designed for the environment and more easily recyclable, their fees will be lower.  Producers that continue to use packaging that is not recyclable or even harmful to current recycling systems will pay a higher fee for that packaging.  The legislation will drive innovation to ensure that more products on store shelves come in packaging that is environmentally friendly and easily recycled here in Illinois.

ILPSC EPR Fact Sheets: