Dec 2, 2020 - Economy

Expert: Large companies could boost recycling through circular economy

Bridget Croke, managing director, Closed Loop Partners

Photo: Axios

Large companies could spur a nationwide shift toward a circular economy, in which items are recycled back into supply chains for packaging and products, Bridget Croke, managing director of Closed Loop Partners, said Wednesday at an Axios virtual .

Why it matters: Several large companies committing to using recycled materials could substantial savings, as they move away from "spending billions of dollars throwing another multibillions of dollars of valuable materials in the trash," Croke said.

  • Some companies, like Unilever and Wal-Mart, have committed to the practice, Croke said, which will likely send a signal to the rest of the market and investors.
  • "That shows that there's a lot of business opportunity in those emerging models and that these companies are moving away from using extractive virgin plastics and materials."
Axios Managing Editor Alison Snyder and Keefe Harrison, founder and CEO, The Recycling Partnership
Axios managing editor Alison Snyder (left) and Keefe Harrison, founder and CEO, The Recycling Partnership. Photo: Axios

Recycling is an important part of the circular economy, said Keefe Harrison, founder & CEO of The Recycling Partnership, at the event.

  • She added that the shift would require an expanded recycling system, which she describes as a "multibillion-dollar challenge," to ensure universal access.
  • "We're looking to see more engagement from Congress with new legislation in 2021 ... that will help fund that entire system and advance us toward a circular economy."

Watch the event.

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