The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and eleven partner associations
delivered a letter to Capitol Hill today calling on the house majority and
minority leaders to develop and advance an infrastructure investment package
to address the United States¹ need for better recycling efforts and
innovation. The timely and urgent call for discussion cites recent decisions
­ and ultimately, disruptors to U.S. recycling programs ­ by China to reduce
or end the import of scrap material from other nations, coupled with the
loss of valuable feedstock for American manufacturing when material that
isn¹t recycled ends up in landfills.

³Recycled materials are a national resource that are under-utilized in our
economy. The facilities that are needed to process recycled materials
require modernization. Our letter to lawmakers invites the start of a
national dialogue on improving our recycling infrastructure, and
jumpstarting the nation’s ability to collect, process and recycle more of
these valuable commodities,² said PLASTICS Vice President of Government
Affairs Scott DeFife. ³The nation faces a critical juncture in waste
management policies, and the federal government can work with state and
local entities to make significant inroads with greater investments in
recycling education and infrastructure.”

According to the 2016 Environmental Protection Agency¹s Recycling Economic
Information Report, in one year recycling and reuse in the United States
accounted for 757,000 jobs, $36.6 billion in wages and $6.7 billion in tax

³The U.S. recycling industry is in a transformative time, and through
investment in our recycling infrastructure, we can ensure the industry
changes and grows in a way that will meet our domestic manufacturing needs
for years to come,² said Kim Holmes, PLASTICS¹ vice president of

The letter outlines the following priorities to prioritize recycling in the
* Retrofitting Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) with advanced sorting
equipment that can identify and properly handle a wider range of packaging
forms, including flexible film and smaller items made of otherwise
recyclable material

* Quicker permitting of MRFs, plastics recycling facilities, and conversion
technology facilities that create valuable chemicals and energy products

* Increased use of recycled material in infrastructure products where

* Broadened use of private activity bonds for recycling projects

* Incentive grants for state and local governments to expand curbside
recycling options and the range of materials collected. Providing access to
curbside recycling to all U.S. residents (less than half of Americans
presently have the same level of access to curbside recycling as trash
collection) will standardize the types of material that can be and are
recovered across the country

* Education and training to improve understanding of what is recyclable, and
to promote the manufacturing jobs aspect of the recycling process will
support American jobs, the U.S. economy and the environment. Those jobs are
created when recycling is picked up at the curb, when it’s taken to a
facility to sort it out into metals, plastics and paper and when those
materials are turned into something new

The signatories represent public and private sector associations and
organizations including:
* American Chemistry Council <>
* Association of Plastics Recyclers <>
* Carpet America Recovery Effort <>
* Flexible Packaging Association <>
* Foodservice Packaging Institute <>
* GreenBlue <>
* Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries <>
* National Waste & Recycling Association <>
* PAC Packaging Consortium <>
* Solid Waste Association of North America <>
* The Recycling Partnership <>

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