China has historically purchased more than 30 percent of U.S. recyclables. However, in January, it enacted the National Sword Policy, banning the purchase of the majority of U.S. recyclables due to the high levels of garbage, or contamination, mixed in with the recyclables. As a result of the ban, China now purchases less than 3 percent of U.S. recyclables.
In an effort to resolve this problem, bin manufacturers, including BearSaver, Bigbelly Smart Waste and Recycling Systems, CleanRiver Recycling Solutions, EZ Dump Commercial, Landmark Studio & Design, Max-R and Securr are joining forces with nonprofit organization Recycle Across America (RAA) to offer the standardized recycling labels on their recycling, compost and trash bins to make it easy for the public to recycle properly throughout society. They are joining this national movement to help eliminate the public’s confusion at the bin, which has been the primary cause of the contaminated recycling and China’s ban.
To date, there are nearly 9 million standardized labels displayed on recycling bins throughout the U.S., which are proving to often double and triple recycling levels and significantly reduce or eliminate the contamination. In turn, the standardized labels help reduce the cost of processing the recyclables and allow manufacturers in many industries to have access to high-quality recycled commodities at competitive prices, thereby preventing the depletion of finite natural resources.
“There is an environmental bottleneck that has been happening as a result of public confusion, apathy and skepticism with recycling, which has been the byproduct of inconsistent labels throughout society,” said Mitch Hedlund, founder of RAA, in a statement. “That’s why this is truly a historic moment to have these bin manufacturers demonstrate their leadership, uniting with this solution on behalf of their customers and the public. They understand the societal, environmental and industry benefits that come when the public can instantly know how to recycle right, wherever they are in the U.S.”
Additionally, RAA has launched a coast-to-coast, celebrity-led public service (PSA) campaign called, “Let’s recycle right!” to bring attention to the standardized labels solution and the need for proper recycling.
As the largest multi-media campaign in U.S. history created to help society recycle right, the TV commercials are airing in all of the major cities across the U.S. and have already been increasing the adoption of the standardized labels for bins.