Get the Facts
Our recycling system is in need of urgent reform
America’s recycling system is not working for all recyclable materials. Because we’ve depended for too long on other nations to take our discarded packaging, we have not invested in the necessary infrastructure to efficiently recycle these materials on our own. Without places to send our used packaging or the ability to process it here at home, we must urgently fix our system. With the volume of single-use packaging increasing, the situation has become unsustainable.
The amount of recycled plastic that is actually processed and reused. The rest goes in landfills.
Two-thirds of Americans believe the recycling system is broken in the United States.
Two-thirds of Americans believe using fewer single-use-plastics would make a big difference in the environment.
A Packaging Stewardship Program is the Solution
Americans want to recycle packaging responsibly and expect industry and government to do their part in managing package waste. We have an opportunity to address this need with a coordinated response involving local and state governments, consumers, and industry. Together we can build a safe, efficient, self-sustaining recycling system.
Facilitated by state and local oversight, Packaging Stewardship Programs make packaging producers financially and managerially responsible for what happens to packaging after it is sold and used.
How Does It Work?
Recycled packaging is processed and made into usable material for new packaging.
Manufacturer makes packaging to be used to carry and package products.
Producer uses packaging to get product to consumer.
Evolving Recycling System
Nonprofit Packaging Responsible Organization (PRO) collects fees from producers and makes investments in recycling infrastructure.
Consumer uses the product and recycles packaging.
Why Does Packaging Stewardship Work?
Packing producers pay a small fee when their products are used, which they provide to a non-profit Packaging Stewardship Organization (PSO) that is charged with building and managing recycling infrastructure.
With funding and a PSO to manage the process, industry can develop recovery and processing infrastructure.
Local government provides the PSO with guidance and oversight, while industry, through the PSO, implements the system, aligning all stakeholders under one unified plan that meets the needs of the community.