Statement: New EPA recycling framework misses the point

Media Contacts
Alex Truelove

Plans fail to address the primary need to reduce and reuse goods

U.S. PIRG Education Fund

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency today released a new National Framework for Advancing the U.S. Recycling System. The framework  focuses on four action areas, which were initially presented at last year’s summit: promoting education and outreach; enhancing materials management infrastructure; strengthening secondary material markets; and enhancing measurements. The EPA also announced plans to establish 2020 national recycling goals, which will be formulated in conjunction with input from interested stakeholders and the public.

U.S. PIRG Education Fund Zero Waste Director Alex Truelove issued the following statement on the announcement:

“This EPA framework falls short on so many levels. More than anything, it’s a disappointment because the agency sidesteps specific commitments to encourage reduction, reuse or redesign. 

“Fixating on a floundering recycling system ignores the fact that we produce way too much stuff, and most of it isn’t designed to be recyclable.

“In addition, this framework was a perfect opportunity to hold producers accountable for the waste they create. But instead they turned a blind eye to that vital issue as well. Consumers and recyclers can only do so much with the abundance of cheap, disposable items that predominate our economy. We need to fix the problem at the source.”