Letter to the Editor: A shift toward sustainability starts with corporations | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: A shift toward sustainability starts with corporations

Jordan Koler

Recycling has been part of the household dynamic for decades. However, in Summit County, a meager 10% of residential and commercial trash is diverted from landfills and taken to recycling facilities, a number substantially less than the national average. This is a problem we need to address. While household recycling is important, plastic pollution is primarily exacerbated by the extensive production of plastic used by large corporations. This makes recycling more than just a household issue.

For too long we have told consumers that it is their responsibility to reduce plastic waste. That is a lie. The only way to win our fight against plastics is to stop them at the source and hold producers accountable. To address this problem, our state passed the Producer Responsibility Program for Recycling which targets single-use plastics used by corporations. It aims to decrease plastic pollution by charging a fee on each layer of packaging.

In her article Colorado recycling bill to put responsibility on companies rather than consumers, journalist Eliza Noe of Summit Daily News explains that “under producer responsibility policy, producers form an independent nonprofit Producer Responsibility Organization to manage the collection and distribution of funds to increase and improve recycling.” This will create robust recycling throughout the state and create a circular system for our recyclable goods.

By charging companies based on the usage of their packaging materials, it encourages them to use less and also recycle materials to incur less of a fee. However, this bill only helps if it is implemented correctly. Policymakers have begun to determine the logistics of the bill, and it will only have the desired impact if they incentivize corporations to switch to more sustainable packaging.

It seems the future of recycling, historically left to individual households, is now in our policymakers’ hands.

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