Washington, DC – The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, recognizes the importance of international trade as a critical part of the U.S. economy, and the essential role of recyclers across the globe during World Trade Month 2022. Recycling is essential to the daily world economy, supply chains, the environment, and more.
“The recycling industry is vital to global supply chains, manufacturing, and the environment,” said Joe Pickard, ISRI Chief Economist and Director of Commodities. “It is not possible to capture the full economic and environmental benefits of recycling without international trade, and recycling is critical to creating a sustainable, circular economy.”
Established in 1938, World Trade Month in the U.S. is an opportunity to recognize the significance of exporting to the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services totaled nearly $2.5 trillion in 2021, with each $1 billion in exports supporting more than 5,000 U.S. jobs.
The recycling industry’s export related economic impact in the U.S. in 2021 was $35.7 billion. This includes more than $11 billion in wages and $3.8 billion in taxes generated. U.S. recycled commodity exports reached the highest level in a decade in 2021, and since 2000, the U.S. recycling industry exports have made a positive contribution to the U.S. trade balance of nearly $300 billion.
Additionally, recycling impacts world trade by employing readily available recycled commodities into the supply chain, providing necessary relief for manufacturers experiencing delays while awaiting virgin materials. Recycled materials are a key manufacturing feedstock that meets about 40 percent of the world’s industrial raw material needs. By exporting excess valuable recycled commodities to other countries, the recycling industry helps prevent the need to extract more of the earth’s finite natural resources.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents 1,300 companies in the U.S. and more than 40 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating nearly $117 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides more than 506,000 Americans with good jobs.