Exploring the Capacity of the Extended Producer Responsibility Principle to Incentivizethe Collection and Recycling of Plastic Food Packaging Waste

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Abstract: Plastic waste mismanagement and pollution have become mounting global
concerns that are closely implicated in unsustainable production and consumption
paradigms. This research reviews the ecological and socio-economic impacts of plastic
waste mismanagement that are currently transboundary in nature and necessitate
political interventions to mitigate the multifaceted dilemmas posed by high rates of
plastic waste generation. This research examines the Extended Producer Responsibility
(EPR) principle as one waste policy for packaging, wherein producers who introduce
packaging into the marketplace become mandated to bear the financial and/or
operational costs of waste management, incentivizing improved design. This research
examines EPR programs for packaging waste in Canada and analyzes potential economic
and environmental benefits of implementing such a program in Nova Scotia. This
research additionally examines various available methods to achieve reuse-oriented
packaging systems within the transition from a disposal-oriented to a reuse-centric
economy, requiring collaborative efforts between governments, producers, and
consumers.

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