PLASTICS Applauds Bipartisan RECOVER Act to Improve Recycling Infrastructure

April 5, 2021

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) today announced its strong support of the bipartisan Realizing the Economic Opportunities and Value of Expanding Recycling (RECOVER) Act, introduced today by U.S. Representatives Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Larry Bucshon (IN-8). The legislation would allocate federal grants to states and municipalities to invest in improving their recycling programs and infrastructure, including upgrading plants that receive and process recyclables and enhance the recovery and collection of materials.

“Recycling infrastructure is essential to America’s infrastructure,” said PLASTICS President & CEO Tony Radoszewski. “This bipartisan bill will improve recycling infrastructure so valuable materials can be reclaimed and repurposed and not end up in our oceans and waterways. Representatives Cárdenas and Bucshon have shown tremendous leadership on this issue and we look forward to continue working with them and with our coalition partners to get this legislation signed into law.”

“This bipartisan, commonsense bill is a smart solution to a growing problem,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “As our country continues to invest in clean energy technology, we must also invest in our recycling infrastructure. The RECOVER Act encourages local and state governments to invest in recycling programs and new technologies to increase collection rates. Through public-private partnerships and a new grants program, we will help reduce our national plastic waste exports. This bill would create new jobs, boost our economy and, ultimately, will be good for American families and the environment.”

“As the father of four kids, it is important to me to leave future generations with a cleaner environment than the one we inherited from our parents and grandparents,” said Dr. Bucshon. “One of the ways that we have been successful in cleaning up our nation’s environment is by encouraging greater numbers of Americans to recycle waste items instead of discarding them in landfills. Today, our nation is facing a recycling crisis due to inadequate infrastructure and the inability to keep up with waste stream contamination. Without the proper recycling infrastructure in place, we will not have the capacity needed to recycle waste items and they will either end up in a landfill, our oceans, or elsewhere in the environment as litter. We need to remain steadfast in pursuing an approach that drives economic growth and innovative technology to deliver a clean energy future – not more Washington rules and red tape. I am proud to join Congressman Cárdenas in reintroducing the RECOVER Act, which will help promote greater investment in recycling infrastructure and consumer education to ensure our nation has the recycling infrastructure needed to continue allowing Americans to recycle waste items instead of sending them to the landfill.”

The RECOVER Act would:

  • Establish a recycling infrastructure program within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to invest in new recycling technology and programs that increase collection rates, improve the sortation and separation of materials, and enhance the performance of curbside collection.
  • Authorize $500 million towards matching federal grants to eligible states, local municipalities, and tribal governments to invest in improving their recycling infrastructure, programs, and education efforts.

Supporters of the legislation include the American Chemistry Council, American Frozen Food Institute, AMERIPEN, Association of Plastic Recyclers, Berry Global, EREMA, Flexible Packaging Association, Foodservice Packaging Institute, Glass Packaging Institute, International Bottled Water Association, Kenrich Petrochemicals, Inc., SNAC International, Solid Waste Association of North America, Unilever and The Vinyl Institute.

“Berry Global is proud to stand behind policies, like the RECOVER Act, that have a clear vision and potential of creating positive change toward giving our natural resources multiple lives. With the leadership of Rep. Cardenas and Rep. Bucshon, in partnership with the consumer packaging industry, investments in US recycling infrastructure will help local economies benefit from the value of post-consumer packaging.” – Tom Salmon, Chairman and CEO of Berry Global.