Voluntary Producer Responsibility: Carton Packaging Recycling in U.S.

by: Ravi Anupindi

Publication Date: March 15, 2014
Length: 28 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-338

Core Disciplines: Information - Technology & Management, Operations Management/Supply Chain, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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This case tackles the issue of recycling of poly-coated beverage cartons in the United States. In 2008, recycling access to the commodity was low, putting the industry at risk of losing market share to other forms of packaging. The protagonist of the case Alan Murray, then CEO of Tetra Pak North America, pulled industry leaders together under the Carton Council of North America (CCNA) to attempt to boost recycling access in communities across the U.S. to 60%, an amount that would allow the producers of products to carry the unconditional Federal Trade Commission logo on their packages. Still, improving access in small local communities would be difficult. In reading and discussing the case, students analyze the reverse supply chain for recycled cartons, the rationale behind lackluster access to recycling, and CCNA programs designed to reconstruct the reverse supply chain.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Examine the importance of recycling of post-consumer waste.
  • Understand the key players and their motivations in the reverse supply chain for recycling of post-consumer waste.
  • Understand the importance of developing a market-based reverse supply chain design.
  • Analyze the partnership approach including same sector, inter-sector, and public/private partnerships.
  • Assess the role of regulation in recycling of post-consumer waste.