US Throws $11.4 Billion in the Trash. Every Year. : TreeHugger

Can We Really Afford to Do That?

A recent report by As You Sow, a non-profit focusing on promoting “environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies”, shows that Americans are throwing cash in the trash, almost literally. At least 11.4 billion dollars in recyclables – steel, plastics, glass, paper, etc – are not recycled and thus wasted. The report argues for “extended producer responsibility” (EPR), which would shift the responsibility for post-consumer waste from taxpayers and municipal governments to the companies that produce the packaging, creating incentives for producers to reduce the amount of packaging they create, increasing packaging recycling rates, providing revenue to improve recycling systems, and reducing carbon and energy use.

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