Plastic Waste Solutions
America’s Plastic Makers have set two ambitious goals to eliminate plastic packaging waste in the U.S. by 2040: 100% of plastic packaging will be recyclable or recoverable by 2030, and 100% of plastics packaging will be reused, recycled or recovered by 2040. To help the plastics value chain meet recycling goals, America’s Plastic Makers have developed a comprehensive path forward. As expected, the work needed is as daunting as the recycling goals are aspirational.
Plastic makers have developed two frameworks to guide and measure the path forward: Guiding Principles and the Roadmap to Reuse.
America’s Plastic Makers support of a series of guiding principles to accelerate the elimination of plastic waste through the creation of a circular economy. These foundational guiding principles for eliminating plastic waste through a circular economy include:
- Supporting Legislative Efforts Benefitting the Circular Economy
- Minimizing Plastic Waste through Recycling
- Advancing the Circular Economy in the Manufacturing of Plastic Products
- Supporting a National Recycling Framework
- Supporting Market Access for Recycled Content
- Promoting Sustainability Within the Circular Economy
Each principle includes action items that will help contribute to the Roadmap to Reuse. See the full text of the Guiding Principles.
Roadmap to Reuse
To reach the 2030/2040 goals, all players in the plastics value chain will need to pitch in, all the way from the design of packaging through to reuse.
To help chart the course, America’s Plastic Makers have developed a Roadmap to Reuse. The Roadmap provides a framework and identifies the actions that will deliver the solutions America needs. Plastic makers, manufacturers, brands and retailers, recyclers and waste haulers, as well as communities, nonprofits, and federal, state and local government must come together to create the circular economic solutions and infrastructure this problem requires. As with any change of this scale, each of us needs to play a role. Solving the problem of plastic waste in the environment, including marine litter, cannot be successfully addressed by only one segment of society.
The Roadmap identifies six key challenges to meeting 2030/2040 goals:
- Value chain engagement
- Consumer Behavior
- Access to Recycling
- Collection and sortation capabilities
- Recycling capabilities
- Economic/end markets
The Roadmap also identifies the key players and their roles in reaching the 2030/2040 goals
- Plastic makers (resin producers)
- Haulers/Municipal Recovery Facilities (MRFs)
- Industry Groups