Waste Dive has tracked the effects of international policy decisions and fluctuating commodity markets on U.S. recycling programs since 2017. The fallout has taken a toll on the sector and helped spark interest from lawmakers, leading to a historic influx of recycling legislation in Congress.
Bills already in play seek to address issues like infrastructure, education and supply chain challenges, with more expected to be introduced in the months to come. Some have significant backing from industry, while some are strongly opposed by certain trade groups. Other bills have brought together unlikely allies, including plastics proponents and environmental organizations. And while the coronavirus pandemic has stalled legislative momentum, stakeholders from all sides have still sought to push favored bills as they seek to address effects stemming from the crisis.
Depending on how this unfolds, dramatic shifts could be coming for federal recycling policy in the years ahead. We will be tracking the status of these bills and adding new legislation as it emerges.