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This Earth Day, Let’s Advocate for Packaging Sustainability—Regardless of Material or Format

This Earth Day, Let’s Advocate for Packaging Sustainability—Regardless of Material or Format

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This Earth Day, Let’s Advocate for Packaging Sustainability—Regardless of Material or Format  

WASHINGTON, DC – April 17, 2024

No matter the material — glass, metals, paper, or plastic — packaging plays a crucial role in American life. With Earth Day quickly approaching, AMERIPEN, the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment, reminds us all to advocate for increased sustainability across the entire packaging value chain.

The first line of defense in ensuring the delivery, protection, and quality of consumer goods across the nation, packaging is an essential tool in communicating and protecting our health and safety. That said, working to increase sustainability throughout the whole packaging system is paramount on Earth Day and every day. 

“All kinds of packaging materials have value, and it’s not productive to pit one type against another,” said Dan Felton, Executive Director of AMERIPEN. “Here at AMERIPEN, we believe that the most critical work can be done at a holistic level, advocating for progressive, proactive, and evidence-based policies and strategies to advance sustainable packaging systems.”

One such way we can help transform packaging recovery, recycling, and composting across the country is by harmonizing packaging claims and labeling through federal legislation. Without a federal legal standard, we face a potential patchwork of conflicting state laws that will confuse consumers, limit manufacturers’ ability to do business, and ultimately send more packaging to landfills. By working to define terms and create clarity at the federal level, we can supercharge our collective sustainability efforts. 

Another route is to support efforts to gather more data across the U.S. about packaging recovery and recycling and increase the infrastructure for that. This can be done through federal legislation such as the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act and Recycling and Composting Accountability Act that recently passed the U.S. Senate and are now under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives. Well-crafted extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs, with shared responsibility, that may advance in the U.S. could also be an effective tool to secure more critically needed data and infrastructure to increase packaging recovery, recycling, and composting and create a more circular and sustainable economy. 

“This Earth Day, let’s advocate for sustainability across the packaging supply chain,” said Felton. “That is our entire mission at AMERIPEN as we embrace a collaboration with policymakers, NGOs, communities, and other stakeholders to secure public policy for packaging and the environment that is results-based, effective, efficient, equitable, and fair.”

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AMERIPEN – the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment – is a trade association dedicated to improving packaging and the environment. We are the only material-inclusive packaging industry trade association in the United States representing the entire packaging supply chain. This includes materials suppliers, packaging manufacturers, consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, and end-of-life materials managers. Our membership also includes a robust array of industry, material, and product-specific trade associations who are essential to the AMERIPEN fabric. We focus on science and data to support our public policy positions, and our advocacy and policy engagement is based on rigorous research rooted in our commitment to achieve sustainable packaging policies. 

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