Ohio Senator Rob Portman reached across the aisle to introduce with Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow the RECYCLE Act of 2019, which would help educate consumers about recycling in their communities. According to Portman, “EPA data shows the recycling rate in the U.S. is 35.2% and $9 billion worth of recyclable materials are thrown away each year.”

“Education and outreach is a key pillar to improving recycling rates and reducing contamination in our recycling stream,” Portman said in a statement. “Reports have indicated that one-third of materials that households put into their recycling bins end up in landfills and are not actually recycled. This is in part because there is confusion about what can actually be recycled, which leads to contamination of materials that could otherwise be recycled but instead are landfilled. Education is a key component in both increasing the amount of material that is being recycled and ensuring that the material being put into community and residential recycling programs is actually being recycled. I am pleased to be introducing the RECYCLE Act with Senator Stabenow today, and look forward to working with my colleagues to get it across the finish line.”

Several stakeholders praised the effort, including EcoRight ally Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network.