The Recycling Partnership Responds to Comments on Recyclability Framework

December 16, 2021

3 Min Read
recycling baler compressor
Derek Berwin/Getty Images

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Recycling Partnership today published responses to public comments on its Pathway to Circularity Recyclability Framework.  A first-of-its-kind opportunity for the entire packaging value chain to shape the future of circularity, the Framework was open for comment for 30 days beginning August 19.  The Framework defines a clear set of criteria to help companies navigate their packaging through the recycling system and provides an actionable on-ramp for different material types to achieve recyclability.

The Partnership received more than 750 comments from stakeholders throughout the packaging value chain and beyond, demonstrating the significance of the Framework and need for clear guidance on packaging recyclability as a step toward circularity. In response to these comments, some portions of the Framework will be adjusted, some will be clarified, and some areas will require further study with support from the Circularity Council, a group of 35 senior industry leaders representing various material types, brands, government, Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), NGOs, retailers, and trade associations. The Circularity Council helped develop the common definitions and thresholds presented in the original Framework, setting the course for transparency involving all levels of the recycling supply chain.

An updated version of the Framework will be published in early 2022 while several other workstreams will launch in 2022 to begin addressing known gaps that are keeping various packaging types from achieving recyclability. For example, The Partnership will launch material-specific coalitions for PET and Aluminum to improve access and capture while increasing overall system efficiency. The Framework will ultimately be a dynamic and evolving tool with room to adapt for innovation in packaging design and other developments, based on its clear building blocks and transparent criteria.

“Together, we are building the roadmap to the packaging system of the future – a guide to advance package design, improve community access, help policymakers define what is recyclable, inform recyclability claims, and drive new innovations,” says Sarah Dearman, VP of Circular Ventures. “At The Recycling Partnership, we have a unique understanding of the entire packaging value chain and the complexities of recycling, this enables us to drive positive change at every step of the process.”

For a full description of the comments and The Partnership’s responses, or to learn more about getting involved with the Pathway to Circularity, visit

About The Recycling Partnership

At The Recycling Partnership, we are solving for circularity.  We mobilize people, data, and solutions across the value chain to unlock the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and a circular economy. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs; we partner with companies to achieve packing circularity, increase access to recycled materials, and meet sustainability commitments; and we work with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. We foster public-private partnerships and drive positive change at every step of the recycling and circularity process. Since 2014, we have diverted 500 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 968 million gallons of water, avoided more than 500,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and driven significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at

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