Extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation makes manufacturers responsible for safely disposing of their products once consumers are done with them. When pharmaceutical manufacturers are responsible for financing and managing their products at end-of-life, they are motivated to alter their existing design, production, and sales practices to reduce the amount of waste produced.
In our existing system, drug manufacturers can externalize the health and environmental impacts of their products. Governments and taxpayers are left to foot the bill for cleaning up their messes, namely by funding and implementing drug take-back and disposal programs. Pharmaceutical EPR therefore faces opposition from industry, which prefers to save money and maintain the status quo.
The industry has opposed EPR legislation through 1) strong lobbying and 2) conducting education and outreach campaigns that promote trash disposal as a safe option – a disposal technique that runs counter to federal, state, and local government policy nationwide.
Countering threats to EPR
Respond publicly to opposition with the following resources:
Resources for drafting legislation
Educate the public, lawmakers, and others on proper drug disposal. Visit our Outreach and Education Toolkit for ideas on how to spread the word.