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Beauty Takes on the Packaging Collection Challenge

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Landfills are unfortunately full of recyclable packaging. It doesn't have to be this way.

Recyclable packaging only works if it actually gets collected and processed. Yet cost remains an issue. Therefore, in coordination with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, L'Occitane-En-Provence, Beiersdorf, H&M, Henkel, L’Oréal, Unilever, Walmart and about 100 more businesses have signed on to a statement of support for the extended producer responsibility (EPR) movement to facilitate packaging collection to meaningfully scale recycling rates and reduce the amount of packaging that ends up in the environment.

The Foundation notes that "collection, sorting and recycling or processing packaging costs more than the revenues made from selling the recycled materials." To address the imbalance, the organization says, "We need dedicated, ongoing and sufficient funding to make the economics of recycling work."

The solution? "[M]andatory, fee-based EPR."

Signees to the statement are expected to advocate in good faith "for the establishment of well-designed EPR policies and being supportive in working out how to implement and continuously improve EPR schemes in the local context."

The statement also demands cross-industry cooperation.

The Foundation concluded, "While they might not have all the answers on how best to implement EPR for packaging in different geographies around the world, the endorsers of this statement are sending a strong signal that not making EPR work is not an option, and they are willing to step up and be part of the solution."