In Europe, packaging waste compliance legislation is mature and robustly enforced, and the responsibility of European manufacturers is clearly defined by EU legislation. However, in the US, the manufacturer’s responsibility when selling products into the EU, may be less well understood.
The underlying principle of European waste compliance legislation is referred to as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). This applies to product packaging across its entire lifecycle and requires companies to ensure the recyclability of packaging and the use of recycled materials throughout the manufacturing and sales process. In Europe, EPR applies to the company placing the packaged product on the market - this could mean you as the manufacturer, or your distributors and retailers.