November 15, 2021

Celebrating America Recycles Day 2021

Thank you for joining ISRI today to celebrate America Recycles Day 2021. For the last six years, ISRI has hosted an event on America Recycles Day to celebrate the accomplishments of the private and public sector, while enhancing opportunities for all of us to do even more to bring the benefits of recycling to our communities. America Recycles Day is a time to acknowledge all the people in the recycling industry that are giving new life to old items. Recyclers are helping to create a more resilient planet in an increasingly resource-constrained world, while also keeping materials out of landfills.

This year, more than ever, it is clear why recycling is an essential part of the solution to so many of the challenges we are facing. Issues like bottlenecks in the supply chain, stress on the environment from raw material extraction, and even surging demand for sustainably sourced and made goods have increased exponentially over the past two years, creating challenges but also opportunities for recycling. These issues are compounded as we endeavor to meet manufacturers’ increasing demand for high quality materials.

During the worst of the pandemic, the recycling industry helped keep manufacturing lines open to produce the critical goods required for the COVID-19 response and recovery. Similarly, increasing the supply of clean recyclable materials, as well as optimizing the design of products for both recycling and the use of recycled content, will help strengthen our domestic manufacturing supply chain.

To that end, we are grateful for the work of the U.S. Congress in passing the bipartisan infrastructure package that the President is signing today and that contains a number of provisions that will help strengthen recycling. All those new and improved roads, bridges, rails and port infrastructure will lead to an unprecedented demand for raw materials, including recycled materials.

The new law also includes the RECYCLE Act, which ISRI played an important role in developing in collaboration with our champions in Congress. The RECYLE Act provides $75 million in funds for public education and awareness to reduce contamination in the residential recycling stream and thereby increase the volume of higher quality commodity-grade recyclables for processing into new manufactured products. It also will increase the purchasing of products with recycled content through a mandatory review of the EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines – or CPGs. The CPGs are used throughout the Federal government for its purchasing and can have a very big impact on product development.

There is a lot of activity and discussions related to recycling occurring here in Washington, in state capitals around the country, and in countries around the world. ISRI is fully engaged with policymakers, our industry partners, stakeholders and – especially – in our local communities to partner on initiatives that will grow economic and environmental benefits for all of us. Recycling brings sustainable solutions to manufacturing resiliency, to the fight against climate change, and economic empowerment, but we cannot do it without all of you. ISRI looks forward to working with you to achieve these goals for a greener future. Thank you again for celebrating America Recycles Day with us.