EPR laws hold manufacturers responsible for the afterlife of their products

At an August 2018 Portland meeting of recycling businesses and government staff, Waste Management's Pacific-Northwest-British Columbia area recycling director, Matt Stern, said:

"Every piece of recycling equipment in this country — and I'm only exaggerating slightly — is incapable of making the industry standard that has been in place for decades. The future has to take into account the need to make quality material. If you make quality material and you're consistent at it, you have a better chance of luring plastic processors and manufacturers."

Metro's Matt Korot said "more could be done with extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws, which hold manufacturers responsible for the afterlife of their products; having federal laws would be more effective than the current state-by-state approach, where some states lead and others lag behind."
Lack of domestic solutions wasn't always an issue. Jeff Murray of EFI Recycling said that "during the 1990s, China began doing more with one machine than what two local paper mills could do. Our mills started falling behind, we moved to co-mingling, our quality started going down, but China was willing to pay more for less quality and that began the downslide of some of our domestic options."
"China allowed us to be a bottom feeder and build a commodity system that was contaminated," said Stern.