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The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund Host “Positioned to Scale”, A Solutions-Focused Event that Showcases U.S. Action toward Global Plastics Treaty

Earth Day event underscores broad support and solutions for national EPR policy to end plastic waste 

 OTTAWA, CANADA (April 19, 2024) – Against the backdrop of the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, The Recycling Partnership (The Partnership) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are convening U.S. policy leaders, recycling practitioners, private industry, NGOs, and local community leaders. The invite-only event, taking place on Earth Day (April 22), will celebrate and mobilize support for scalable solutions to address the biggest recycling challenges in the United States, including Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).  

Successful EPR models are already being implemented at the state-level, as well as internationally, and there is increasing discussion and interest in what a comprehensive federal policy could look like in the United States. This interactive discussion seeks to advance conversations around how state and national EPR policies can deliver on the promise of the circular economy by building a better U.S. recycling system and stronger communities, and by preserving our natural resources.    

“The plastic pollution crisis threatens our oceans, our economies, and the health of all, and we must act swiftly to address it. There is no time to waste,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Thankfully, solutions to address this existential crisis and deliver benefits to American companies and communities are within reach, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to strengthen U.S. recycling and end plastic pollution.”   

“The flood of plastic pollution is choking our oceans and threatening public health,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “In the Senate, I am leading bipartisan efforts to address the plastic crisis and will continue pushing for improvements on plastics recycling. I strongly urge the U.S. to agree to an ambitious treaty that will curb the flow of plastics that has worked its way into our food chain and to the most remote areas of planet.”   

Today, nearly 33 million households across the U.S. cannot recycle where they live, and nearly two out of three people are confused about what can and can’t be recycled. Polices such as EPR address gaps in residential recycling access and infrastructure and motivate companies to make more packaging recyclable. These critical advancements will deliver clearer, more convenient and more consistent information about what and how to recycle.  

“Today local governments bear the full responsibility of funding residential recycling services,” said La Crosse, Wisc. Mayor Mitch Reynolds. “Public-private partnerships and effective state and national policy solutions are critical to building a better U.S. recycling system that works for communities, companies, and people.”  

”Positioned to Scale” will highlight broad support for creating a circular economy that delivers positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes now and for generations to come, including from local and national government leaders. The event will showcase solutions in place today, such as The Recycling Partnership’s Circular Packaging Assessment Tool, which ensures brands are doing their part just as U.S. individuals are doing their part, WWF and ABA’s joint principles for reducing materials footprint and achieving circularity, and The Partnership’s online tool, Recycle Check, which makes hyper-local recycling information accessible to people across the country. 

 “We need everyone at the table – companies, communities, policymakers, processors and everyday people – working together to achieve real progress in addressing the global waste crisis,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “I am encouraged by the bipartisan support shown by U.S. policymakers here at INC-4 in Ottawa to advance U.S. action to pass Extended Producer Responsibility Policy, ensuring that everyone in the United States can recycle, and everyone does recycle.” 

  With support for political action to solve the plastic pollution crisis surging among the American public, now is the time to embrace policies that will help us improve the way we make, use and recycle plastic,” said Erin Simon, Vice President and Head of Plastic Waste and Business. “Embracing a national EPR policy can help fix our inadequate recycling system while also transforming our environment and our economy. As we call for an ambitious global agreement, we must match that ambition at home by putting policies in place that set us on the road to success. 

Policymakers seeking recycling policy tools can download The Recycling Partnership’s Guidance Memo. 





 At The Recycling Partnership, we are solving for circularity. As a mission-driven NGO, we are committed to advancing a circular economy by building a better recycling system. We mobilize people, data, and solutions across the value chain to reduce waste and our impact on the environment while also unlocking economic benefits. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs; we partner with companies to achieve packaging circularity, increase access to recycled materials, and meet sustainability commitments; and we work with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. We foster public-private partnerships and drive positive change at every step of the recycling and circularity process. Since 2014, we have diverted 1 billion pounds of new recyclables from landfills, avoided more than 1 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, and driven significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org. 

  About WWF 

WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in nearly 100 countries for over half a century to help people and nature thrive. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat the climate crisis. Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter and signing up for our newsletter and news alerts here.