Plastics Recycling Update

GreenDot closes in North America, RLG changes course

Close up of a meeting with microphone and papers on the desk.

Two producer responsibility organizations have changed their focuses recently. | ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Producer responsibility organization GreenDot has ceased operating in North America, citing a strategic alignment to focus on more mature regulatory markets.

In addition, Reverse Logistics Group pulled out of the running to become the producer responsibility organization (PRO) under Oregon’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) law for packaging. The two decisions have left the industry-founded nonprofit Circular Action Alliance at the forefront of the U.S. packaging PRO space.

GreenDot shuts down U.S. shop

Leslie Hushka, managing director for GreenDot North America and chief sustainability officer for GreenDot Global, said in an email that “we sincerely thank our North American team for their achievements and dedication in 2023 and wish continued success to North American policymakers and brand owners in their sustainability efforts.” 

“Despite this decision, GreenDot’s commitment to sustainable practices and the global recycling and circular economy remains unwavering,” Hushka added. 

GreenDot officially announced the suspension of its operations in North America effective Jan. 31 “to prioritize growth strategies in the more mature regulatory markets,” Hushka said. 

“This decision is driven by the growing demand for circular polymers and recycled packaging materials in Europe, further anticipated to escalate with the upcoming Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation,” Hushka said. “GreenDot is committed to executing its development plan in the EU.”

Reverse Logistics Group exits Oregon EPR

Brad Wright, the newly hired executive vice president of the Americas for Reverse Logistics Group, told Resource Recycling that he brought his 30 years of experience in the environmental services industry to evaluate how RLG was operating in the EPR space in the U.S. 

“One of the reasons we made a pivot in Oregon and decided to withdraw our letter of intent was I think there’s more as an organization we can bring to the market from an operational experience and best practices sense and scalable data services perspective,” he said. “We’re uniquely positioned to bring all that to producers to help them achieve their goals, rather than try to compete on the packaging PRO front.” 

Wright is overseeing Canada, the U.S. and South America and said the company has a “tremendous amount of international experience that we can bring to North America and the United States in particular.” 

“We’re looking to provide services to producers for all the states that have packaging legislation in place, and then as it grows, because we know it’s going to spread, we want to be the knowledgeable strategic service producer to help industry get there,” he said. 

That leaves only CAA active in Oregon. CAA was formed by some of the biggest brand names in the packaging sphere and aims to be the approved PRO in all states that have EPR for paper and packaging. 

Colorado and California officially selected CAA as PRO, and Maryland selected the group to sit in the PRO seat on an advisory council over the state’s needs assessment. 

Recently, Danone North America and Mondelēz International joined CAA as founding members, joining Amazon, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, The Clorox Company, Ferrero,  General Mills, Keurig Dr Pepper, The Kraft Heinz Company, L’Oréal, Mars, Nestlé USA, Niagara Bottling, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, Target, Unilever United States and Walmart. 

Wright said that a “substantial number of producers have coalesced around their packaging PRO,” and that RLG is better positioned to support CAA’s and producers’ goals “and bring our services to them as opposed to trying to go head-to-head in certain jurisdictions.”

“CAA has some big tasks ahead of them, and I’m sure there are ways to help them achieve their goals,” he said. 

A version of this story appeared in Resource Recycling on Feb. 6.

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