Home > WCL Journals & Law Reviews > SDLP > Vol. 23 > Iss. 1
It's Time to Trash Consumer Responsibility for Plastics: An Analysis of Extended Producer Responsibility Laws' Sucess in Maine
Consumer responsibility for waste is a historic relic, dating back to a time when nearly all of a consumer’s waste was compostable, reusable, or marketable. Today, with the rise of plastics and complex goods like electronics, consumers lack the expertise, time, and ability to personally break down the products they consume for reuse. Much of our household waste goes to the curb and into a single stream of municipal solid waste (“MSW”). This includes a variety of wastes which each require specialized processing. Recycling this complex waste falls to municipalities which are woefully underfunded and underqualified to process such complex and dangerous waste. Solutions beyond consumer responsibility, like Extended Producer Responsibility (“EPR”), are needed to mitigate the costs and environmental impacts associated with modern MSW.
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