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The Recycling Partnership seeks public comment on recyclability framework

The partnership is seeking public comment for its Pathway to Circularity Recyclability Framework, which defines sustainable packaging for companies.

August 11, 2021

The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, has announced it will open its Pathway to Circularity Recyclability Framework for public comment. The framework, which was developed in collaboration with 35 industry leaders spanning the packaging value chain, defines a clear set of criteria to help companies determine if their packaging can navigate the recycling system and to provide them with the necessary actions to advance their packaging toward recyclability and meet their sustainability goals. 

According to a news release from The Recycling Partnership, the framework will be open for comment for 30 days beginning Aug. 19, after which feedback and alterations to the framework will be compiled and released. In conjunction with this engagement period, The Recycling Partnership will host two introductory webinars to explain the Pathway to Circularity in more detail Aug. 19 and Sept. 2. 

Collected feedback will be used to build upon the existing framework, serving as the common foundation for advancing the system and circularity by informing sustainable packaging design, the organization says.  

“This is the beginning of a massive, system-changing initiative to advance package design and system innovation in tandem, to drive us toward a more sustainable and circular economy for all materials,” says Sarah Dearman, senior vice president of Circular Ventures at The Recycling Partnership. “Never has more urgent action been demanded to protect our planet’s resources and reduce greenhouse gases, as evidenced in the most recent United Nations report. We look forward to opening dialogue with stakeholders to whom this matters most.” 

The framework, created through the partnership’s Pathway to Circularity initiative defines five building blocks critical to progressing packaging design for recyclability. The principles include the design for circularity, recyclability prevalence, access, capture journey and packaging fate. The framework is a tool in transforming the recycling system by aligning stakeholders behind the steps needed to evolve the packaging that is going into it.

The Recycling Partnership says the final framework will play a critical role going forward to advance package design, affect community access, help policymakers define what is recyclable, inform recyclability claims and drive new innovations.

“The Recycling Partnership is committed to its mission to transform the U.S. recycling system and activate a circular economy,” Dearman says. “The Pathway to Circularity Framework is a vital tool in our journey to deliver both. Through our work on the ground with thousands of communities to improve underperforming recycling programs, we’ve learned that you can’t transform the system without improving the nature of the packaging going into it. The Circularity Council’s leadership helped us develop the framework and set the course for transparency, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share what we’ve built together and engaged with a broader group of stakeholders for feedback.”