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Three strategies identified for increased material recovery in the U.S.

White paper from AMERIPEN identifies three successful recycling strategies from around the globe: unit-based pricing; disposal bans; and recycling mandates.

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Speaking at the Resource Recovery Conference this morning, AMERIPEN (American Institute for Packaging and the Environment) Executive Director Donna Dempsey discussed the results of the organization’s just-published 78-page packaging recovery white paper. Entitled “AMERIPEN Analysis of Strategies and Financial Platforms to Increase the Recovery of Used Packaging,” the white paper evaluates global systems that support improved packaging recovery and system financing.

As Dempsey stated, “AMERIPEN’s findings emphasized that waste management is a system, and strategies to address waste challenges need to consider the complex interplay of programs amongst themselves as well as larger cultural and geographic elements. Within this framework, AMERIPEN identified three strategies which, when leveraged synergistically, appeared to have the greatest impact on increasing recovery rates and sustaining financing for collection and recovery. These include: unit-based pricing, also known as pay as you throw (PAYT); disposal bans; and recycling mandates. 

“These strategies can collectively help shift consumer practices, and potentially attitudes, away from waste disposal and toward recycling and other recovery strategies. They are effective tools with proven results that, when implemented together, can better utilize existing infrastructures.”

Said AMERIPEN President Gail Tavill, “This is the first time that recovery programs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia have been examined in detail and compared in terms of both their environmental and economic effectiveness. We hope to use these findings and insights to help communities develop stronger and more efficient recovery programs for used packaging.”

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