A recent article in Waste 360
did an excellent job explaining the issue of supply and demand in recycling.
If the EPA’s goal is to achieve “50 by 30”, recycling goals and mandates need to start focusing on end markets, not just on supply.
Without the end markets to support an increase in supply, no matter how many recyclables are collected and sorted, the final requirement is an end user. Without aan end user, material cannot be recycled.
The best way to promote recycling markets is for manufacturers to incorporate recycled materials into their products and packaging. However, many brands are focused on getting their packaging accepted as recyclable, rather than utilizing increased recycled content.