From the News

In the News: On Earth Day, Consumer Brands VP of Packaging Sustainability Urges House Passage of Critical Recycling Bills

RealClear Science published an op-ed authored by Consumer Brands Vice President of Packaging Sustainability John Hewitt that underscores the urgent need for Congress to close the loop and pass two bipartisan bills in the House that are meant to help mitigate the gaps for consumers to access recycling across the country. U.S. Senators Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Carper (D-DE) and John Boozman (R-AR) introduced the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (RIAA) and the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act (RCAA), both of which recently passed unanimously in the Senate.

Excerpts from the op-ed include: 

“It’s worth saying again — consumers want to recycle, but navigating the patchwork of nearly 10,000 systems nationwide, each with its own set of rules for what and how something can be recycled, makes it more likely a product will end up in a landfill, not back in the circular economy, which aims to keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems.”

“The RIAA would provide businesses with crucial data needed for innovation, inform investments in recycling infrastructure, and create a space for the federal government to play an important role in the value chain. The data would inform and strengthen important next steps such as a “needs assessment” conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to inform infrastructure developments.

“The second bill, the RCAA, would create a pilot program to improve recycling infrastructure in rural and underserved communities. These grant-funded programs would work toward increasing transfer stations, curbside recycling programs, and bringing down associated costs through public-private partnerships.”

“Consumer Brands has collaborated with The Recycling Partnership to integrate Recycle Check, an online platform to simplify recycling, and SmartLabel, the association’s digital labeling platform. Consumers literally have their local recycling rules at their fingertips with the scan of a QR code located directly on product packaging and their zip code.

“The Recycling Partnership found that while 78 percent of consumers look at packaging labels to determine whether a product is recyclable, confusion contributes to two-thirds of recyclables being wasted each year. By simplifying the instructions, this new tool puts the power in consumers’ hands.”

Read the full piece here.