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The Future of Plastics Recycling is at Risk: THERE IS A SOLUTION

This guest blog was originally posted on the Association of Plastic Recyclers' (APR) website, and was written by Ali Briggs-Ungerer.

In 2017 there was a perfect storm for the plastics recycling industry in the United States. 

With China's National Sword policy, U.S. recyclers suddenly lost a market for 65% of curbside-collected polypropylene, including nearly all bulky rigids. At the same time, a tsunami of virgin resin hit the marketplace, with over 50 million pounds (260 railcars) per month of new wide‐spec virgin resin competing directly with post-consumer recycled resin (PCR). Lastly, a lack of long-term contracts for reclaimers resulted in overnight evaporation of sales. For example, one major US plastic recycler noted their "standing order for 20 trailer loads of PCR/month was canceled last week because the converter switched to wide-spec virgin resin."

APR recognizes that consistent, reliable demand is critical for plastics recycling to be mature, vibrant and sustainable, and that…

Amazon takes a big step forward on sustainable shopping

Today's guest blog is authored by Jenny Ahlen, Director of EDF+Business. The original post can be found here.

When shopping online, consumers can filter searches based on product price, color or even “best sellers.” But that same ability to sort products doesn’t exist when it comes to environmental and ingredient data. This lack of information serves as a barrier for shoppers to make more informed decisions that impact their health and the planet. Companies have to change that.

Today, Amazon announced that customers in the U.S. can now shop more than 25,000 products that are certified “Climate Pledge Friendly” across grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics. This move holds tremendous potential for helping shoppers make more informed purchasing decisions. These products have a range of 18 different third-party environmental certifications, in addition to an Amazon original “Compact…

TRP Report Details Essential Components of Municipal Contracts with MRFs

When the default practice of exporting US recyclables, primarily to China, finally fell through (largely due to contamination), the shortcomings in the domestic recycling infrastructure were laid bare. To retain its all-important relevance, every step of the recycling process—from curbside pickup to the manufacturing of new products using recycled materials—would have to greatly improve. Otherwise, the consequences of landfilling instead will have dire consequences, for the environment, public health, and the economy.

Few recycling organizations have been as diligent about improving the recycling experience on a local basis as NERC Advisory Member The Recycling Partnership. The organization’s focus on local programs “has served more than 1,400 communities and counting with best-in-class tools, data, resources and technical support helped place more than 700,000 recycling carts, reached 74 million American households, and helped companies and communities invest more than $57 million in recycling infrastructure,”…

Solar panels are starting to die. What will we do with the megatons of toxic trash?

Today's guest blog is authored by Maddie Stone and originally appeared on the Grist website.

Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change. They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives — and right now, most of the world doesn’t have a plan for dealing with that.

But we’ll need to develop one soon, because the solar e-waste glut is coming. By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually. While the latter number is a small fraction of the