Are plastic bottles in landfills the fastest growing form of municipal solid waste in the United States?
Bottled water containers make up less than one third of one percent of municipal waste, but we all need to do more to make sure ALL plastic containers– from detergent jugs to peanut butter jars to beverage bottles – don't end up in landfills. America needs more convenient and accessible recycling programs for people at home and on the go. As such, NWNA is advocating for an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model for packaging and printed-paper.
An EPR model would bring the financial responsibility of recycling to the industry, while collaborating with governments and providers to increase access to curbside recycling and recycling away from home, not just for bottles, but for all product packaging. This model can better meet the needs of the American marketplace by increasing recycling rates, reducing government spending and using private sector efficiencies to reduce the overall cost of recycling.
NWNA directly supports the work of Recycling Reinvented, a U.S. nonprofit organization committed to advancing recycling rates for packaging and printed paper in the United States through EPR, both through seed funding and former NWNA CEO Kim Jeffery's leadership as a member of the organization's board. Recycling Reinvented plans to advocate for statewide policy changes, where brand owners can get economies of scale, rationalize recycling infrastructure, increase recovery, and drive down costs.
NWNA also works with organizations such as Keep America Beautiful to encourage people to take individual action, all with the goal of improving PET beverage bottle recycling rates to 60% by 2018.