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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
ASTRX Partnership Aims to Shape the Future of U.S. Recycling through Systems Approach

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition and The Recycling Partnership have teamed up to increase recovery of quality recyclables in the U.S. through a new initiative called ASTRX – Applying Systems Thinking to Recycling. The partners will work closely with a number of other industry groups to fully capture the perspective of the entire recycling landscape, in hopes of unlocking new insights to improving recovery.

“Recycling exists to deliver material feedstocks back into the manufacturing process,” said Sustainable Packaging Coalition Executive Director Nina Goodrich. “Through ASTRX we will analyze the entire system and identify the most effective areas for improvement and intervention. In turn, this will lay the strategic foundation for bolstering supply and reaping both the environmental and economic benefits.”

The combined expertise of the two organizations, spanning from packaging design through material recovery, will be applied to comprehensively mapping barriers and opportunities within the recycling landscape, then identifying tactics to advance the industry and deliver more high-quality recyclables to the supply chain.

“Recycling is a loosely connected, highly dependent system,” said Keefe Harrison, Executive Director of The Recycling Partnership. “By looking within and between each link in that system, we can route a considerably more informed and robust course of intervention.”

The initiative aims to better understand the interplay of the diverse public and private sector components involved in the recycling supply chain, in hopes of achieving new heights of sustainable recovery.

“There’s no room for wishful thinking in this marketplace, and we expect this initiative to deliver real solutions,” said Steve Alexander, President of the Association of Plastics Recyclers. “There are many companies and other entities operating in recycling today, and through ASTRX we can collaboratively create a comprehensive plan to shape the future of the U.S. recycling system.”

WRAP has conducted similar analyses on the U.K.'s plastics recycling and reprocessing supply chain.

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