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In 2013, NEWMOA along with many other organizations adopted a resolution that defined product stewardship as the act of minimizing health, safety, environmental, and social impacts, and maximizing economic benefits of a product and its packaging throughout all lifecycle stages. The producer of the product has the greatest ability to minimize adverse impacts, but other stakeholders, such as suppliers, retailers, government, and consumers, may also play a role. Product stewardship can be implemented through either voluntary programs or legal requirements. NEWMOA also defined extended producer responsibility or EPR as a mandatory type of product stewardship that includes, at a minimum, the requirement that the producer's responsibility for its product extends to post-consumer management of that product and its packaging. There are two related features of EPR policy: (1) shifting financial and management responsibility, with government oversight, upstream to the producer and away from the public sector; and (2) providing incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations in the design of their products and packaging. NEWMOA has also endorsed a set of Principles of EPR, including key elements that should be considered in developing EPR legislation. These Principles are aspirational and considered best practice to achieve maximum results and are applied differently by different jurisdictions. As of 2019, more than 30 EPR laws have been enacted in the northeast.

In 2014, NEWMOA formed an EPR Implementation Workgroup of state officials in the Northeast that are responsible for managing state EPR programs. Since that time, the group has promoted networking and information sharing among state agency staff involved with implementing EPR programs.

Starting in 2018, NEWMOA and the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) created a formal partnership and out of that effort formed a broader regional group, the "Northeast EPR Network," that includes state officials and leaders of non-profit organizations, particularly state product stewardship councils, who are involved with promoting EPR. The goals of this Network are to:

  • Promote EPR in the region
  • Provide opportunities for information exchange among organizations and agencies that are engaged in advancing or supporting EPR in 11 states in the region
  • Create a forum for sharing information on the successes and challenges of stewardship programs in the region and criteria for success
  • Advance replication of successful EPR legislative efforts in nearby states
  • Explore opportunities for states to coordinate and harmonize their product stewardship programs

The Network undertakes the following activities:

  • Maintaining an email list of the Network participants
  • Sharing information and updates via email, particularly related to new educational resources, policies, programs, successful legislative efforts, and proposed legislation
  • Supporting efforts to promote EPR in the region
  • Holding 4-6 conference calls per year to share information, discuss legislation and challenges, and reflect on lesson learned
  • Documenting the results of the calls
  • Conducting follow-up activities, as resources allow

NEWMOA and NERC published a Fact Sheet on EPR for Packaging in 2019.

NEWMOA and NERC published a White Paper - Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging & Paper Products [PDF] in 2020.

NEWMOA and NERC published a Frequently Asked Questions About Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging & Paper Products (PPP) [PDF] in 2020.

For more information, contact Terri Goldberg, at .



Last Modified 08/25/2020

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