At this time a year ago, advocacy efforts in Washington were just starting to adjust to the realities of a pandemic-dictated virtual work environment and a mostly reactive emergency-based legislative agenda. Now, despite the ongoing COVID-related issues that the federal government needs to address, work in Washington is shifting back to a new “normal” schedule, and efforts on the Hill are refocusing on legislative priorities that were essentially put on hold last year.
One example where advocacy activities have ramped up is legislative efforts to modernize the recovery and recycling infrastructure in the United States and to educate consumers on using it properly. FPA has long been a proponent of legislation such as the Realizing the Economic Opportunities and Value of Expanding Recycling Act (RECOVER Act) and the Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education Act (RECYCLE Act), which were first introduced in the 116th Congress. We continue to advocate for a suite of options to address the lack of infrastructure for non-readily recyclable packaging materials.
Additionally, FPA is a member of the Recycling Leadership Council (RLC), which released its “Blueprint for America’s Recycling System” earlier this year. With our partners at the RLC, who represent a comprehensive list of stakeholders, FPA is working to advance this ambitious blueprint for policy action at the federal level, as we believe the only way to build a true circular economy requires the “authority, accountability, and incentivization provided by the federal government.”
Our efforts align with Congressional consideration of infrastructure/transportation legislation—one of the few bipartisan issues with significant support from industries across the board. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle agree that federal investment in infrastructure can create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, which will also support the recovery of our economy as it emerges from the pandemic. As House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-OR, has taken an expansive view of what is covered under the umbrella of infrastructure to include much more than just traditional roads and bridges, now could be our best opportunity to advocate for comprehensive recycling legislation with a significant federal commitment to investing in critical recycling infrastructure.
As these legislative vehicles advance, FPA welcomes the active participation of its member companies in supporting advocacy efforts through the writing of letters, participation in meetings with elected officials, and hosting virtual or physical tours of your facilities. If you have an interest in joining in these advocacy efforts, please contact FPA’s President and CEO, Alison Keane.