Fact Sheet: Effective Environmental Policy Should Improve Environmental Performance, Not Penalize Environmentally Friendly Magazines

Fact Sheet originally published by MPA – The Association of Magazine Media

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With 100% recyclable, biodegradable, non-toxic printed paper stock, magazines are partners in environmental stewardship and should be supported.

THE ISSUE

Inclusion of paper in EPR programs won’t increase recycling but would unfairly target magazine media.

Magazines are partners in recycling and environmental stewardship. Magazines are printed on non-toxic, biodegradable and 100-percent recyclable paper, and long-form magazine journalism has led the way on environmental education and advocacy. More than 63 percent of paper discarded by consumers is already recycled, and the EPA estimates that magazines account for only 0.3 percent of municipal solid waste.

State and local Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs that include paper products would perversely subsidize producers of hazardous, environmentally harmful and hard-to-recycle products, as it spreads some of their EPR costs to paper users and producers.

That is why paper products are excluded from EPR programs in Europe, which is generally considered to have more advanced recycling programs than U.S. jurisdictions.

And at 63 percent already, including paper in EPR programs likely would have no effect on increasing paper recycling rates. In British Columbia (BC), for example, EPR fees on paper products rose 86 percent in 2020 and nearly 50 percent more once again in 2021. Meanwhile, the paper recycling rate in BC is declining.

A BETTER SOLUTION

Target hazardous or hard-to-recycle products in EPR programs.

Target the real problem, not highly recyclable paper, by explicitly excluding environmentally friendly printed paper stock from EPR programs.

THE TAKEAWAY

  • Printed on and with sustainable products, magazines are partners in recycling and environmental stewardship.
  • Long-form magazine journalism has led the way on environmental education and advocacy.
  • Imposing EPR programs on paper would punish good environmental actors and possibly reduce recycling rates.

Magazine Media Delivers

Valued and trusted content

  • Content that is researched, curated and edited.
  • Readers value our educational, cultural, scientific, and informational content, in longform articles and on digital platforms.

Diverse & multigenerational connections

  • Read by more than 90% of U.S. adults across all age groups and demographics, including 18-25.
  • A 1.5 billion audience across all its platforms – digital, mobile, video and print.

Commitment & investment to our communities

  • More than 240,000 U.S. jobs supported with an annual average wage of more than $98,000.
  • Trusted, long-standing first party relationship based on respect and transparency for our readers.
  • Partner in environmental stewardship, using biodegradable, recyclable and certified materials.
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