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Need to Know

ISRI Testimony Spotlights Essential Role of Recycling in Truly Circular Economy

Washington, DC – The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) today testified before the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee as part of a Committee hearing titled “The Circular Economy as a Concept for Creating a More Sustainable Future.”

ISRI Chief Lobbyist Billy Johnson presented the pivotal role of the industry in a circular economy. Johnson highlighted interwoven segments of the recycling industry and what makes for successful recycling. Additionally, he discussed policy solutions such as strengthening domestic recycling and market development, education funding, as well as designing for recycling.

Excerpts from ISRI’s comments follow (full comments here)

… Recycling is essential to the U.S. economy, the global manufacturing supply chain, and a vital solution to help combat climate change and build environmental equity. …

…Successful Recycling

… it is important to first understand the interwoven segments of the recycling industry and what makes for successful recycling:

First – Regardless of whether it is residential, industrial, or commercial, successful recycling requires market demand. …

Second – Successful recycling requires minimal contamination as recyclables are products sold by specification grade, with their corresponding value and marketability directly related to their quality. …

Third – The recycling infrastructure in the U.S. touches almost every part of our economy …

Fourth – Products must be designed to be recycled at its useful end-of-life for successful recycling to easily take place. …

… Policy Solutions

Strengthening Domestic Recycling and Market Development …

Design for Recycling – … ISRI started the Design for Recycling® initiative to encourage manufacturers to consider the ultimate destiny of their products during the design-stage of a product’s development. …

Recycling Data Collection – Accurate data is crucial towards making informed decisions. …

Education Funding for Recycling

Encouraging Recycling Activities

Extended Producer Responsibility

… While ISRI acknowledges that the concept of extended producer responsibility is being considered at the federal and state governmental levels, we do not support those product stewardship policies that disrupt the current recycling infrastructure …

… ISRI strongly urges product manufacturers to design their products and packaging for cost effective recycling. 

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 $116 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides more than 506,000 Americans with good jobs.

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