Continuing its focus on creating strong community recycling, The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, has created a Circularity Council to address the gaps in the system.
Ali Blandina, director of circular ventures at The Recycling Partnership, says the discussion started after The Recycling Partnership launched The Bridge to Circularity in fall 2019.
“There were many steps identified to move the U.S. toward a circular economy and through looking at that, it was clear that transitioning to a circular economy requires systems change,” she says.
When it comes to navigating the recycling industry, Blandina says it’s tricky because there is a lot of gray area and industry standards that don’t exist. Plus, she says if you ask nine different people in the industry about sortation, you’ll get nine different answers. That realization helped push the council to be formed.
“If we are able to wash away some of this gray and bring the needed clarity to the industry, more stakeholders would be able to successfully navigate their packaging and materials and just the circular economy in general,” she says.
Blandina says the goal of the Circularity Council is to bring together 36 leaders from various parts of the industry to have open discussions on how to move the industry forward. The council will bring together city and state leaders as well as recyclers of various commodities, material recovery facility (MRF) operators, retailers and brand owners.
Blandina says The Recycling Partnership is still reaching out to confirm who will sit on the council, but she says the nonprofit hopes to have every seat secured in the coming months.
Once the council is formed, it will meet a few times this year, likely virtually. Going forward, Blandina says quarterly meetings will be the plan.
The Recycling Partnership builds relationships throughout the industry with grants, investments and helping to build community programs and find solutions.