Patchwork Approach to Recycling Not Working

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“The patchwork approach to recycling in the United States … has led to widespread consumer confusion and is a major cause of low recycling participation”, according to Geoff Freeman, president/CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. In an Oct. 8, 2019 address in Tokyo to the delegates to the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter, he advised that “the U.S. has chosen to approach recycling on a locality-by-locality basis which eliminates economies of scale and creates massive consumer confusion”. He continues that delegates should “learn from other mistakes and leapfrog to the solutions that empower consumers”. Mr. Freeman highlighted [these] components to enhancing packaging sustainability:

  • A committed consumer packaged goods industry working toward more sustainable packaging
  • Consumers who understand how and what to recycle
  • Consistent recycling standards