PET bottles for recycling.

Alpek Polyester and BlueTriton Brands joined a lobbying effort to advocate for a national bottle bill. | New Africa/Shutterstock

Resin giants recently joined environmental groups in the nation’s Capitol to advocate for a national bottle bill, a coordinated push organized by the National Stewardship Action Council.

Major RPET buyers Alpek Polyester and BlueTriton Brands (formerly Nestle Waters North America) were among the organizations represented at a Feb. 28 lobbying effort convened by NSAC. They spoke with lawmakers alongside groups such as the Container Recycling Institute and Clean Water Action.

Their message was simple: Despite their different perspectives approaching the recycling system, they find common ground in supporting a national container deposit program. And they’re hoping that can translate into bipartisan support from lawmakers.

“Currently, companies cannot obtain enough recycled materials to meet their own recycled content targets even though there is plenty of material available if it was collected,” NSAC stated in a release outlining the lobbying effort. The organization noted there are 10 state container deposit laws, but a “national recycling refund could harmonize a program across states, making compliance easier for producers that sell nationally.”

Packaging supplier Atlantic Packaging was among the companies represented. Caroline DeLoach, the company’s director of sustainability, wrote in a summary of the event about the recycling rate improvements that would come with a nationwide deposit.

“Large consumer products companies tell me every day that they don’t have enough recycled content to make their packaging as sustainably as they want to, and a national recycling refund is such an intuitive way to help,” DeLoach wrote.

Although the idea of national container deposit legislation is not new, and NSAC has been increasingly pushing for such a program in recent years, the presence of major resin and packaging companies in the supportive camp is a recently emerging component.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a more diverse group lobbying the same thing in this industry,” NSAC Executive Director Heidi Sanborn told Plastics News, which reported in depth on the lobbying effort.

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