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Melissa Innes joins Recycling Reinvented

Recycling Reinvented, a nonprofit committed to advancing recycling rates of packaging and printed paper in the U.S. though an extended producer responsibility (EPR) model, hired retiring Maine State Representative Melissa Innes as outreach director.

Led by a diverse group of board members from the public and private sectors, including noted environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and president and CEO of Nestle Waters North America Kim Jeffery, Recycling Reinvented aims to create an efficient recycling model for the U.S. This model can better meet the needs of the American marketplace by increasing recycling rates, reducing government spending and using private sector efficiencies to reduce the overall cost of recycling. With EPR, businesses can reuse the valuable materials in their product packaging, ensuring they have stable material streams for new products while creating efficiencies and reducing materials costs.

Recycling Reinvented takes a broad and collaborative approach, working with brand owners, packaging manufacturers, processors, material recovery facilities, haulers, labor, and local and state governments. Innes will harness support to advocate for EPR as the preferred method for effective and sustainable resource management.

“Our current recycling system is not keeping up pace with supply and demand. With EPR, many nations have achieved recycling rates that double those in the United States,” said Innes, “and they have accomplished this when government sets a goal and gives the private sector flexibility to meet it. There is incredible opportunity for U.S. manufacturers to adopt a similar approach, and even go beyond increasing recycling rates,” Innes continued. “A recent recycling study shows that if the U.S. could increase its recycling rate to 75 percent by 2030, it would create 1.5 million additional jobs.”