Why Join a Recycling Coalition?

Input from different stakeholders is the key to success of the recycling system. The Pathway to Circularity: Residential Recyclability Framework was informed by industry knowledge and experience regarding what it takes for a package or material to be recyclable. When a package or substrate does not meet the Framework’s criteria, companies are encouraged to take action to address the challenges.

Recycling coalitions can address challenges and deliver needed solutions. If a coalition does not exist, but a material meets the following criteria, consideration will be given to forming one.

Pathway to Circularity Recycling Coalition Formation Criteria

  • There is a path to scalable, circular solutions that can be achieved through actionable steps.
  • The format/material is expected to have a significant presence in a circular system of the future.
  • There are no viable alternative formats or materials that could serve the same purpose with increased recyclability/circularity.
  • Multiple companies across the value-chain (such as producers, converters, brands, and retailers) are ready to join the initiative with multi-year commitments to make meaningful progress toward a solution.
  • It is aligned with The Recycling Partnership’s mission, leverages the core competencies of The Partnership and does not duplicate efforts.

Recycling Coalitions and Other Initiatives by The Pathway


Polypropylene (PP) is a valuable material and enjoys successful recycling in communities and MRFs throughout the U.S. The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, formed in July 2020, focuses on improving curbside access for PP, assisting MRFs with sorting PP and maintaining vibrant, robust PP end markets. The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition made equipment grants that have the potential to improving PP recycling access by over 6% and improve recycling for 18 million Americans.

Film & Flexibles

Film and flexible packaging materials are difficult to recycle with typical curbside recyclables. The lightweight, flexible properties that make these products so versatile for packaging create operational challenges for recycling. Formed in September 2019, the Film & Flexibles Recycling Coalition is piloting solutions to bring curbside recycling of films to more Americans. The initiative involves every aspect of the Pathway to Circularity from design to sortation and end markets.


Even a material that passes through the Pathway has areas of opportunity. Aluminum cans play a critical role in recycling by adding significant value, yet some are lost in MRFs because they are mis-sorted. To address this challenge, The Aluminum Beverage Can Capture Grant Program was initiated to provide MRFs with grants to fund equipment for boosting recovery of cans even further. While not currently a coalition, the grant program illustrates the impact an Aluminum Recycling Coalition could have.



While PET bottles are highly recyclable, there is broad recognition that the recycling rate must double – or even triple – to achieve a system with compelling circularity. The circularity attributes of non-bottle PET formats such as trays, cups, and clamshells are in even greater need of a boost. Formed in 2022 to leverage those opportunities, the PET Recycling Coalition is aimed at improving the systems that are in place today and growing new opportunities to change the paradigm of PET recycling.

For more information on any of these recycling coalitions, please email pathway@recyclingpartnership.org or fill out the form below.

Join or Form a Recycling Coalition

Interested in joining or forming a new coalition? Please submit a brief message using this contact form.

Would you like to sign up to receive updates on the development of the Pathway to Circularity initiative?

Thank you to our partners for funding our efforts to build this pathway, thereby making circular packaging a possibility for Americans.