ARLINGTON, Va., April 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, ahead of Earth Day's 50th anniversary, the Consumer Brands Association released its policy platform with recommendations to achieve the country's optimal recycling system. Achieving America's Recycling Future is the first policy platform released by the association, representing the views of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, and focuses on finding scalable solutions to address the underlying issues in the recycling and recovery system.
"With nearly 10,000 programs and unique sets of rules complicating America's recycling system today, we have created an unsustainable morass that confuses consumers and drastically increases contamination," said Meghan Stasz, vice president, packaging and sustainability, Consumer Brands Association. "Our industry is building on its decades of global experience in policy and smarter packaging to provide a blueprint for the type of functioning recycling system that consumers and the environment deserve."
Concerningly low recycling rates in the United States coupled with global market forces have led to systems across the country reducing or suspending service, ultimately leading to valuable recyclable materials going to landfills. The CPG industry supports a national solution to fix the country's broken recycling system requiring three key elements: a standard foundation; long-term financing mechanisms that drive needed outcomes; and strong end-markets to meet demand.
"CPG companies are leaders in making packaging more sustainable, whether that means using more recycled content or creating packaging that's almost entirely compostable or recyclable," said Stasz. "Recycling is not the final or only solution to our packaging challenges, but without a functioning recycling system, there is no second life for valuable material — it's just trash, or worse, pollution."
The release of the policy platform is the latest step in Consumer Brands' approach to tackling packaging waste. In January, it launched the Recycling Leadership Council, a diverse group of stakeholders ranging from NGOs, like Ocean Conservancy and Closed Loop Partners, to other industries like retail and restaurants, all committed to working together to effect change.
"We are committed to creating a more sustainable future and working with all stakeholders to achieve it. This policy platform represents a beginning. There is room for debate and room for other perspectives, but there is no room for complacency as we work toward a healthier planet," said Stasz.
The Consumer Brands Association champions the industry whose products Americans depend on every day. From household and personal care to food and beverage products, the consumer packaged goods industry plays a vital role in powering the U.S. economy, contributing $2 trillion to U.S. GDP and supporting more than 20 million American jobs.