Opinion: Addressing plastic pollution must be a part of the ‘green recovery’

How do we tackle plastic pollution in a pandemic? Can we?

About three months ago, the entire world seemed to come to a stop. Borders were closed, in-person meetings and workshops canceled, and projects suspended while resources were redeployed to address the crisis at hand.

But in this moment of unimaginable difficulty, many are already seeing hope in a green recovery: a “more protective … more inclusive” economic model that would “contribute to building more resilient societies.” In this new approach, governments have the opportunity — and the responsibility — to transform sustainability commitments into action, both in the short and the long term.

Closed Loop Advocates for Policy Reform

A Senate committee hearing last week focused on challenges facing the U.S. recycling system. During the hearing, lawmakers noted that recycling is typically regulated at the state level but momentum is building for a more unified approach nationwide.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del) said, “There is a consensus that the federal government can play a greater role in facilitating recycling but the details of what that role should be are subject, as you know, to debate.” He also asked industry experts in attendance how Congress could best help the recycling sector and what role the federal government could play in addressing current challenges.

Bridget Croke, managing director of Closed Loop Partners, said the recycling sector would benefit from the type of assistance that virgin raw materials producers receive: tax incentives, measures to incentivize market demand, and other tools to help make the economic case for using the materials.

Brightmark Wants Your Plastic Waste… All of It!

Got plastic waste? Bring it on, says Brightmark, which is looking to procure 1,200,000 tons per year of post-use plastic types 1 through 7 from the eastern half of the United States. It will recycle the plastic waste at its existing and soon-to-be-built plastics renewal plants nationwide.

Nestlé Waters Embeds Sustainability Into the Foundation of Their Brands

“We have made significant strides on our journey to use more sustainable packaging,” said David Tulauskas, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of NWNA.

Ocean Conservancy to Advise Leading Retailers in Developing Alternatives to Plastic Bags

Ocean Conservancy will serve as a key Environmental Advisory Partner to the Beyond the Bag initiative, which launched as part of Closed Loop Partners’ newly formed Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag.

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