SWANA participated in stakeholder consultation for the Environmental Performance Review of the United States assessed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Stakeholders discussed the US’s environmental achievements and challenges with a focus on marine litter, recycling, and environmental justice. SWANA was invited at the request of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an authority on plastic pollution and solid waste management.
The OECD is a consensus-based organization of governments from 38 countries working together to analyze common problems, identify best practices, and coordinate national responses to address international challenges through economic based policy analysis and modeling. The OECD Environmental Policy Committee (EPOC) conducts reviews of OECD member countries to provide an independent, evidenced-based assessment of countries’ progress toward their environmental objectives. This third EPR of the US (previous in 2005 and 1996) specifically presents an opportunity to demonstrate US leadership, innovation, and best practices on tackling plastic pollution, solid waste management, water quality management, and water infrastructure finance.
The OECD team brought together SWANA and other stakeholders to discuss the United States’ environmental objectives and international commitments; assess the cost-effectiveness of measures put in place to achieve these objectives; identify what still needs to be done; and what lessons can be learned for the future. Participants were also asked for recommendations to improve environmental performance. Given the primary role states and local governments have regarding solid waste management in the US, participation of organizations like SWANA is key to the success of the EPR.
“SWANA is honored to have been selected by the US Environmental Protection Agency to participate in this environmental review,” stated David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO. “SWANA will continue collaborating with EPA and other federal agencies to support continued progress towards achieving domestic environmental objectives and assisting solid waste stakeholders overseas,” Biderman added.
After the meetings conclude, the OECD team will draft the report, and the associated assessment and recommendations. Findings will be discussed in a joint meeting of the OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance (WPEP) on April 11-13, 2023 in Paris.