Earth Day 2023: Recycling and the Circular Economy
The recycling supply chain may be complex but the mission is simple - conserve the Earth's resources and reduce waste. With APR programs and guidance, companies can make recyclable products, collect and process those products, and make new products from recycled materials.by Steve Alexander
On Earth Day, just like every day, APR is the "Voice of Plastics Recycling." We work tirelessly with our members at every link of the plastics industry supply chain to strengthen the circular economy and create a more sustainable, less wasteful world.
This year's Earth Day theme is Invest in Our Planet, a call to action to invest in the future of our planet through responsible and sustainable practices. It is abundantly clear that an effective recycling chain is of paramount importance in achieving climate and economic sustainability. Today, we invite all our members to take a moment to explore how, together, we are making a difference and contributing to a better future.
At APR, we work with brands and manufacturers across the country and around the world to ensure that products and packaging are made to be recycled. Our APR Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability, coupled with our APR Design® Training and Recognition Programs, give companies the confidence that the items they make can be effectively recycled and Circular by Design®.
But it's not enough for products to be recyclable. We also need to get those products back to be manufactured into new products. That's why we advocate for improvements in infrastructure and technology so that the changing plastic stream can be effectively processed.
These investments are a vital link in the circular economy. When companies have access to enough high-quality post-consumer resin (PCR), they can use that resin to create new products, a process that we know is less carbon-intensive than creating products from virgin plastic. Using recycled plastics lowers greenhouse gas emissions, reduces energy use, prevents waste, and conserves our planet's limited resources as highlighted in the Life Cycle Impacts Report for PET, HDPE, and PP.
Finally, APR provides structure and support to grow market demand for recycled content by certifying PCR through our APR Postconsumer Resin Certification Program and by recognizing the companies - APR's Recycling Demand Champions- who do their part to use more of it
It is more important than ever that brands maintain their commitments to using recycled content. Consistent, long-term demand for PCR is the through line that keeps the entire recycling chain moving.
Recycling works. We see it happening every day thanks to the tireless efforts of our members. The recycling supply chain may be complex, but the mission is simple: conserve the Earth's resources and reduce waste. With APR programs and guidance, companies can make recyclable products, collect and process those products, and make new products from recycled materials.
This Earth Day, we take a moment to thank all the reclaimers, MRF workers, recycling haulers, packaging designers, product manufacturers, and others committed to the recycling value chain. Together, we are safeguarding our planet's climate and resources not just for ourselves, but for generations to come.
Investing in our planet means investing in a better future for all. As we celebrate Earth Day in 2023, let us renew our commitment to responsible and sustainable practices, and work together to create a truly circular economy.