5 Actions for Sustainable Change: A Plan for Congress to Accelerate a Circular Economy for Plastic
To smooth the road toward a circular economy for plastic, we could use a little help from Congress.
Tackle the Plastic Waste Challenge
We all know that plastic is an essential contributor to our nation’s present and future. These modern materials enable fuel-efficient cars, low-carbon energy, clean water delivery and energy-efficient homes… all contributing to a more resilient and sustainable national infrastructure.
Of course, we also must keep plastic out of our environment.
To tackle this challenge, America’s Plastic Makers® propose a national and comprehensive strategy to reduce plastic waste, improve recycling through innovation and help create a circular economy in which our plastic resources are reused again and again. That way, society can continue to receive the benefits of plastic while better protecting our planet and its precious ecosystems.
5 Actions for Sustainable Change
New federal policies are essential to develop a path for valuable and highly efficient plastic materials to be reused again and again. Smart policies can accelerate a circular economy, helping make “single use” a relic of the past.
Congress can help jumpstart circularity and bolster growing enterprises in both mechanical and advanced recycling of plastic. And Congressional action could help achieve the goal of reusing, recycling or recovering 100% of plastic packaging by 2040.
Congress should take five critical public policy actions to help achieve success:
Require all plastic packaging to include at least 30% recycled plastic by 2030 through a national recycled plastic standard. This will drive significant demand for recycled plastic, helping jumpstart new recycling initiatives.
Update our regulatory system to enable rapid scaling of advanced recycling while continuing to grow mechanical recycling. This will enable us to recycle more of the 90% of plastic that is not recycled today.
Direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bring together the plastic value chain and municipalities to develop a national recycling framework for plastic. Plastic recycling today is confusing – recycling standards can create more certainty for recycling markets.
Engage the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study that compares the environmental/climate impacts of raw materials and use its findings to guide future policies. Better science can lead to better sustainability policies.
Establish an American-designed producer responsibility system for packaging to help increase recycling access, collection and outreach for all materials, including plastic. Creating a funding system financed and directed by the private sector can help pay for the recycling infrastructure our nation needs.
There is unprecedented momentum globally for developing a circular economy that can benefit society and the environment. We urge Congress to act soon.
Learn how our 5 Actions for Sustainable Change can help support a circular economy.