Extended Producer Responsibility, not so long ago an obscure term, is gaining momentum in the media. A feature article in Friday's New York Times Business section highlights several companies amping up their programs for reclaiming used packaging and recycling that previously trashed packaging into new products. Specifically highlighted are Starbucks, Coca Cola and the Gimme 5 Preserve program, supported by Stonyfield Farms, Brita and Whole Foods. Through Gimme 5, customers can bring empty #5 plastics (usually used for yogurt cups, margarine, hummus or takeout containers) to Whole Foods stores and place them in a designated bin for #5s. Up until just a few years ago, those #5s went straight to landfill in the United States. But in 2011, around 11 million yogurt cups were collected and converted into toothbrushes, park benches and razors.
Click here to read this heartening article in its entirety.
Scroll to the bottom to read Bill Sheehan's thoughts on how Walmart is helping to shape the EPR landscape. Sheehan is Executive Director of Product Policy Institute, a longtime Overbrook grantee.