Tracking the future of US recycling policy in Congress
International trade decisions, fluctuating commodity markets and concerns about infrastructure have taken a toll on U.S. recycling programs in the past few years, sparking Congress to introduce a significant number of recycling-related bills. The coronavirus pandemic stalled legislative momentum in 2020 — with the exception of Save Our Seas 2.0 — but the bills have made a comeback in 2021.
The proposed legislation could dramatically change the way the U.S. handles recycling in the next few years, whether it’s through infrastructure investments, education, product bans, or bottle bills and extended producer responsibility initiatives. Experts say new leadership in the Biden administration and Congress are likely to infuse excitement into such legislation, but time will tell how far these bills make it.
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