Government Proposal

The issue I am focusing on is reducing packaging waste.  People generate so much waste in the world, and a large percentage of that comes from packaging.  Almost every product purchased is purchased in some form of packaging, and a large portion of that packaging turns to waste.  I believe the government could take responsibility and make changes that can drastically reduce the amount of packaging waste by doing things like setting regulations.  This could include setting regulation on the materials used, what percent needs to be recyclable, reusable, compostable, etc., limiting the amount of materials allowed to be used in packaging and so on.

My government resource is a report by the Environment and Resources Policy Division in a Congressional Research Service.  The report is titled “Recycling and reducing packaging waste: how the United States compares to other countries” and goes into detail about how much packaging waste is generated in the United States in relation to other countries.  This report is broken into four main sections, including summarizing available information for the OECD countries, discussing waste generation and recycling rates for six types of packaging material: paper, glass, metal, plastic, wood, and composites, discussing key questions raised by the information presented in the report, and discussing packaging waste issues facing the Congress.

One key take away that I found interesting about this article is:

“In general, the report finds, other countries use less packaging than the United States, recycle more of it, and are considering policy measures stronger than the measures generally being considered in America. As noted in detail, other countries have adopted or are developing requirements that: set mandatory requirements for packaging waste reduction; require reusable or refillable packaging; impose taxes to discourage single-use packages; prohibit the use of non-recyclable packaging; prohibit or limit disposal of packaging; and, require manufacturers of packaging materials to collect and recycle post-consumer waste.”

I found this very interesting because it shows concrete ways that other countries have been able to reduce packaging waste by have requirement set by the government.  I think this article shows some steps that could be taken in the United States to make progress in reducing waste.  It shows that other government are taking a stand and making regulations to reduce the amount of waste.  This research can be very beneficial to defend my belief that the government should be responsible for making a policy to regulate packaging waste, because other con tries have gotten positive results by doing this.

Because this is a government resource I find it to be reliable.  This report is in the Library of Congress.  Additionally, this report is not a persuasive report.  It is simply reporting facts of what the numbers are and reporting on what other countries have been doing.  There is not much room for biases in a report of this nature.


Correspondence to: J.E. McCarthy, Environment and Resources Policy Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, First Street and Independence Ave., S.E. Washington DC 20540, USA.


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