The Recycling Partnership Policy Accelerator

Bringing together forward-thinking public and private partners to pursue policy solutions that create a more circular economy.

Developing Recycling Policy Solutions to Activate a Circular Economy

Our goal at The Recycling Partnership is to improve the U.S. residential recycling system and unlock the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and a circular economy. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs and tackle circular economy challenges. We work with companies to make their packaging more circular and help them meet their climate and sustainability goals. And we work with government to develop the policy solutions that will address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. 

Americans are calling on companies to be stronger global protectors, but they’ll never achieve that by working alone. To achieve this goal, companies need to be held accountable and supported by trustworthy entities that protect the public good. We need bi-partisan, smart, well-designed policy to improve the U.S. residential recycling system through public-private solutions that protect and support communities’ control over their local recycling programs and complement current recycling laws and does not preempt them.

The U.S. recycling system isn’t one unified entity – it’s a network of 9,000 separate local recycling programs. Recycling access, infrastructure, and education have been underfunded for far too long, leaving many U.S. residents without convenient access to recycling.

Improving the recycling system delivers jobs, greenhouse gas reductions, and local economic and environmental benefits.  

Providing Expert Guidance and Support on Recycling Policy

Policymakers around the country are looking for recycling policy tools to help improve the residential recycling system. Producer responsibility legislation is one such policy tool that directs manufacturers and brand owners to manage products and packaging from design to end-of-life. By providing leading practices and defining key elements that are applicable to any model of producer responsibility program for packaging and printed paper, this guidance memo is intended to inform and support policymakers in creating a sustainable funding source for a recycling system that better serves people and the planet.

Download the Guidance Memo


Improving Our Recycling System Will Pay Dividends

The bad news? The U.S. currently lags behind every other developed nation in its approach to managing recyclables in the home.

The good news? There are proven solutions, the scale of the challenge is known, and it is all within our collective power to fix through dramatically expanded public-private partnerships and robust policy that provides sustainable funding. Significant federal and corporate investment could improve the U.S. curbside recycling rate to nearly 70% and deliver more than $30 billion in economic benefits and nearly 200,000 new jobs within 10 years.

Download the Paying It Forward Report


EPR Policy Significantly Increases Recycling Rates

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs have demonstrated remarkable success. In the United States, several states have already adopted EPR policies, and this trend is expected to continue. EPR policies can significantly boost residential recycling rates, potentially increasing them by up to 48 percentage points compared to current rates. They ensure widespread recycling access, encourage better participation, and can recover lost material value, potentially amounting to millions of dollars. Moreover, EPR policies have the potential to reduce climate-damaging emissions, create jobs, and provide a sustainable path toward a more efficient recycling system.

Download the EPR Report

Members of The Policy Accelerator represent more than 30 companies across the value chain. Together, we are working to solve the challenges facing the U.S. residential recycling system through consensus building and informing and advocating for attainable policy and legislative solutions that rapidly advance the circular economy.


Contact us to learn more about The Policy Accelerator, our policy solutions, and how to join the effort.