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The Recycling Partnership’s Statement on the Consumer Brand Association-led Recycling Leadership Council Blueprint Document

“The Recycling Partnership believes that producers should play a prominent role in bringing the critically needed capital necessary to level up a struggling U.S. residential recycling system through a shared producer responsibility model.

As the Blueprint points out, we’re at a critical point for the aging U.S. recycling system. We can no longer accept the status quo, and we need a sustainable funding model to level up the system. The time is now to build a better, bolder, and broader sustainable system of recycling and, as a result, a stronger, more resilient economy – one that creates jobs, protects natural resources, and one that reimagines how we design and deliver goods to the public.

Recycling is important to both sides of the political aisle, the public supports recycling, major companies, including our partners from across the value chain, are pledging to support the shift, and the bridge for how we get to this new future has been detailed. But it can’t happen without bold new steps in recycling policy.

The time for action is now and urgency will deliver the quickest results. As captured in our 2020 State of Curbside Recycling Report, the current U.S. recycling system is delivering vital supply to manufacturers but needs serious work. Our country has thousands of communities involved at the beginning of the recycling process, each making independent decisions on what can be accepted for recycling and how that message is shared with the public.

Community recycling budgets have always been tight, but in a post-COVID environment, we’ll see local governments squeezing even tighter budgets to juggle how and if recycling fits into their offering of critical public services. This creates challenges for not only meeting the recycled content material demands of today but also the ability of the system to respond to expected increased demand in the future.

More than 20 million tons of household recyclables, as much as two-thirds of all possible residential recyclables, suffer the fate of disposal when they could be part of an effort to grow business investment, protect vital natural resources, and fuel domestic job creation.

Recycling is a true bipartisan issue supporting the environment, jobs and a growing economy bringing feedstock to a domestic manufacturing sector.

Smart policy solutions are needed, with strong data and sustainable funding as their foundation, to modernize American recycling infrastructure, strengthen U.S. community recycling programs, provide critical education and access, and, as a result, capture valuable recyclables needed for a circular economy.”

Keefe Harrison, CEO
The Recycling Partnership