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Every Day is America Recycles Day for AMERIPEN and the Packaging Industry

Every Day is America Recycles Day for AMERIPEN and the Packaging Industry

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Data-driven policies are the key to recycling and circularity success

(NOVEMBER 9, 2022) America Recycles Day® (November 15, 2022) celebrates our nation’s commitment to recycling and circularity and informs communities about what, how, and where to recycle their household, business and commercial packaging and other products.  As we observe America Recycles Day 2022, AMERIPEN urges communities and lawmakers to focus on the balance between myriad needs for packaging and sound solutions to grow a more sustainable future, an effective circular economy, and systems that achieve positive environmental outcomes.

For AMERIPEN, the voice of the entire packaging industry, every day is America Recycles Day as the momentum toward a more sustainable future goes on every day, every year.  “There is an unquestionable need to increase recycling rates in the U.S.,” says AMERIPEN Executive Director Dan Felton, “America does recycle and recycling works.  But it’s not enough and we need our local and national approach to drive effective and efficient, equitable and fair, and results-based recovery, recycling and waste reduction policies that enable everyone to reach their goals.”

“Effective policy is based on good data,” Felton asserts.  “This approach is evident in current proposed federal legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives in the form of The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (HR 8183) and the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act (HR 8059).”  AMERIPEN supports passage of these bills by the end of the current legislative session and movement of them to President Biden to be signed into law; U.S. Senate companion bills were both passed unanimously in July 2022. 

Felton states that, when passed into law, “HR 8183 would provide grants for projects to make recycling programs more accessible to rural and disadvantaged communities. HR 8059 would require the development of data to provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the resources that will help inform real and actionable recycling policy with improved collection and access to reporting and data across current and emerging recycling materials and technologies.”

AMERIPEN is focused on moving the ball forward.  In the coming months, AMERIPEN and various partners will release a number of studies and publications that report and analyze data and other inputs to bring the facts forward.  “The aim,” Felton reports,” “is to support effective local, state, and national strategies to strengthen policies to propel forward the ‘reduce > re-use > recycle’ strategy while amplifying the value of packaging.”

Aligned with EPA National Recycling Strategy, which calls for more support in recycling market development, AMERIPEN is expanding its work in this area to help provide guidance and economic insights into the value of further investment into materials management systems in the U.S. To shine a light on the critical economic role and value of recycling and the circular economy, AMERIPEN will first release the study, “Economic Impact of Recycling Market Development Centers.”  Along with the environmental and sustainability contributions of recycling market development centers, there is a strong economic benefit found in the creation or enhancement of recycling facilities.  From jobs to taxes and other positive outcomes – to increased access to recycling in urban and rural communities – the continued development of recycling market development centers across the nation could enable communities to handle a wider array of recyclable packaging and other goods.  That, in turn, will make it possible for recyclers and communities to handle larger capacities and the increased use of emerging packaging formats and materials.


This new study will be a compelling addition to the AMERIPEN and Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) 2021">report, “Best Practices for State Recycling Market Development Centers,” designed help encourage more investment into market development and to provide states or regions looking to advance or expand programs with a guide towards best practices and necessary considerations.

Equally important, while states continue to embrace or explore packaging producer responsibility legislation, AMERIPEN will be at the forefront of an advocacy approach that, by design, draws together all interested parties including industry, NGOs, legislators and agencies, communities, and other stakeholders in a shared responsibility dialog.  “Smart packaging producer responsibility law,” Felton says, “requires packaging industry producer funding and participation for the next-gen recycling infrastructure; improved packaging recovery and processing, consumer education, sound reporting and compliance requirements; and continued development of the shared circular economy recovery and recycling chain.”

“We support the principles of balanced packaging producer responsibility legislation,” Felton adds.  “However, it cannot be punitive or designed to deselect certain types of packaging.  Nor can it limit options for consumers, businesses, and critical industry sectors such as food and healthcare that rely on the absolute necessity for safe and secure packaging that protects, secures, and maintains the quality of the products upon which we all rely.”

Join AMERIPEN in striving for more packaging recovery and recycling on America Recycles Day 2022…and every day.

America Recycles Day® is a registered trademark of Keep America Beautiful®.

AMERIPEN – the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment – is a coalition of packaging industry entities dedicated to improving packaging and the environment. We are the only material-neutral packaging policy association in the United States and our membership represents the entire packaging supply chain, including materials suppliers, packaging producers, consumer packaged goods companies and end-of-life materials managers. Our Vision is for packaging to be recognized for all its benefits, including preventing waste and driving a circular economy and our Mission is to be the leading voice for the packaging industry, using science to inspire, create and advocate for sustainable solutions for the packaging value chain.

Stephen R. Kay // Email: // Phone: 301-908-0095

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