June 17, 2020 - APR Press Release
APR Applauds Senate EPW Committee Hearing on Recycling; Urges Congress to Bolster Infrastructure and Demand for Recycled Content
The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), The Voice of Plastic Recycling®, applauds the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for holding an important hearing today on “Responding to the Challenges Facing Recycling in the United States.” APR members, who represent every link of the plastics industry supply chain, work every day to strengthen the circular economy and create a more sustainable, less wasteful world.
Recycling works. This country has a strong recycling market. Congress can help improve the recycling system by focusing on three critical elements: increasing the number of products made from recyclable materials; improving the infrastructure to collect, sort, and process those materials; and increasing demand for products manufactured with recycled content.
With APR programs and guidance, companies are making recyclable products; collecting and processing those products; and making new products from recycled materials, a process that is less carbon intensive than creating products from virgin plastic. As detailed in the 2018 Life Cycle Impacts for Postconsumer Recycled Resins: PET, HDPE, AND PP Study, published by APR, data consistently shows that using recycled plastic lowers greenhouse gas emissions, reduces energy use and prevents waste.
APR’s on-the-ground work has consistently demonstrated that demand for recycled material is critically important. In fact, demand drives the entire supply chain. Recycling breaks down when there is no waiting destination for the paper, plastic, glass and metal that consumers want to recycle.
APR is already providing structure and support to grow market demand for recycled content by certifying Postconsumer Resin (PCR) through our APR PCR Certification Program and by recognizing companies who do their part to use more PCR through The APR Recycling Demand Champion Campaign.
APR also supports brands and manufacturers across the country and around the world in ensuring that products and packaging are made to be recycled. The APR Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability, coupled with APR training programs and testing protocols, give companies confidence that the items they make can be effectively recycled.
Today’s hearing comes against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, which only underscores the importance of maintaining and growing the recycling sector. Recycled material serves as a vital feedstock for the manufacture of a wide range of essential products and the packaging to store and ship those products.
APR and plastic recycling are an important part of the solution to America’s plastic challenges. Recycling works. We see it happening every day. Smart investments in product and packaging design, infrastructure upgrades to improve our collection and sortation systems, and the use of postconsumer material in new plastic products is the pathway to a more sustainable circular economy.
With renewed focus from Congress on strategies to strengthen recycling in the United States, APR is confident that a robust public-private partnership can improve the entire recycling chain and provide both economic and environmental benefits. APR members will continue to play an essential leadership role in this process. We welcome Congress’ renewed focus on ways to improve the recycling system and look forward to working with Members of the Senate and the House.
APR VP of Communications & Public Affairs