lifecycle

By Kelly Cramer

During the SPC Advance day 2 session that explored the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s outlook on sustainable materials management, Deputy Director of EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, Kathleen Salyer, was able to provide SPC members with a preview of their forthcoming strategies for 2017-2022.

The top three priorities for EPA’s sustainable materials management strategy will be 1) the built environment, 2) sustainable foods management, and 3) sustainable packaging.

Within sustainable foods management and sustainable packaging, EPA hopes to convene and support partnerships around developing infrastructure to handle food waste and end-of-life packaging. More specifically, for sustainable foods management, EPA will promote opportunities to reduce food waste by approaching these opportunities via the EPA’s own Food Recovery Hierarchy and Food Recovery Summit. Additionally, improving and standardizing measurement of wasted food will be a priority at the agency in coming years.

For sustainable packaging in particular, EPA wants to improve research, data, and policies around sustainable packaging in order to increase information about recovery and material production. The EPA hopes that this improved data will drive industry progress in sustainable materials management, since the need for data is often a strong influence in sustainability decision making.

The 2017-2022 EPA strategy is especially exciting for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, since SPC initiatives like regional composting projects and the How2Compost label will directly align with these critical action areas.

EPA strongly encourages interested parties to provide feedback on this strategic outlook over the forthcoming months. She invites SPC members and anyone else to provide comments to salyer.kathleen@epa.gov.