ISRI’s 2021 Summer Board of Directors and Committee Meetings began Tuesday, July 13. Most of the meetings are open and free for all ISRI members to attend through Friday, July 16. Here are some highlights from meetings on Thursday, July 15.

Communications Committee

Scrap News continues performing well, Mark Carpenter, ISRI’s vice president of communications, announced during the Communications Committee meeting. The site recently launched a Classifieds sections that lets companies advertise on the website. The association launched a Community section for the site, which allows companies to submit company news, people news, and/or photos to share with the Scrap News audience.

Environmental Justice (EJ) was discussed during the meeting. ISRI is taking a proactive stance on EJ. The association’s EJ working group is working on messaging for ISRI members to address the subject with their respective communities. The group developed an ISRI statement on EJ passed by the ISRI Board of Directors in May. It’s also creating proactive tools for companies to use when engaging their communities.

MRF Committee

The Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Committee spent much of its meeting discussing an amendment to ISRI’s Position on Product Stewardship. Since March, ISRI has discussed opportunities for recyclers to engage with state legislators proposing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs. The amendment was passed by the committee, as were guidance for ISRI staff and members. The document was sent to the Board of Directors for a vote on Friday, July 16.

Plastics Division

Danielle Waterfield, ISRI’s chief policy officer, brought the Plastics Division up to speed on notable legislation at the state level, including Maine’s new EPR law and Oregon’s recycled content law, which awaits the governor’s signature. She noted that ISRI is tracking bills in several states and will continue keeping the division updated. ISRI is working to educate lawmakers that recyclers are manufacturers, are integral in the manufacturing supply chain, produce recycled commodities, and that recyclable materials are not waste.

Turkey has done an about-face on its recently implemented ban on PET, HDPE, and low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Adina Renee Adler, ISRI’s vice president of advocacy, and Sunil Bagaria, chair of the division, noted that Turkey has resumed importing polyethylene. Bagaria’s local contacts informed him Turkish recyclers may import 50% of their capacity from foreign recyclers—but imports into Turkey from brokers are not allowed. Adler revealed a forthcoming Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) working paper on plastics use trends will show space for recyclers to grow in coming decades.

After a review, the division voted to reject a request from the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI) for a new specification on silicone-coated PET roll stock. ISRI supports recycling of all plastics, but members felt the volume of silicone-coated PET in current trading did not justify a new dedicated specification.

Education and Training Committee

The Education and Training Committee meeting began with a presentation on Scrap University by Brad Rudover, professor and co-founder, and Kate Fraser, CEO and co-founder of Scrap University. Rebecca Turner, ISRI’s vice president of education and events, gave an update on education and training in 2021. A status report on 2021 events was presented. ISRI’s COVID-19 protocols and policies at events were discussed. Nidhi Turakhia of Allied Alloys and Steven Tuch of SA Recycling gave an update on 2022 education and training program planning.

Government Relations

Brittany Bolen, senior policy advisor for Sidley LLP’s Environmental and Government Strategies practices, was the guest speaker at the Government Relations meeting. The former Associate Administrator for Policy and Senior Counsel to the Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spoke about the federal government’s increased focus in the environmental regulatory space, specifically in areas such as EJ. No longer are these issues just being discussed, but real actions are being done to address them.

Billy Johnson, ISRI’s chief lobbyist, and David Eaton, ISRI’s director of Government Relations, offered their insights on the current infrastructure bill. The State Subcommittee announced that ISRI will participate in the NCSL Legislative Summit, which will be held Nov. 3-5. The Catalytic Converter Working Group provided an update on its work with the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI). The Design for Recycling Subcommittee discussed the DFR awards. A webinar on SREA, Managing Superfund Risk: The SREA Exemption & ISRI SREA Reports, will be held on July 21.

Images courtesy of ISRI.