Plastic IQ makes the latest data, thinking, and expert research accessible at the click of a button. Plastic IQ was inspired by SYSTEMIQ’s “Breaking the Plastic Wave,” The Recycling Partnership’s “Pathway to Circularity,” and other industry resources from leading organizations such as those included below. The Recycling Partnership and SYSTEMIQ are committed to transparency. The methodology used as well as the resources leveraged are made available for anyone to access below. These materials have been peer reviewed and will regularly be reviewed and updated to reflect the latest research and data.

SYSTEMIQ is a B Corp founded in 2016 to drive the achievements of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals by transforming markets and business models in three key economic systems: land use, materials, and energy. In 2020, SYSTEMIQ and The Pew Charitable Trusts published a “Breaking the Plastic Wave: A Comprehensive Assessment of Pathways Towards Stopping Ocean Plastic Pollution,” an evidence-based roadmap that shows how industry and governments can radically reduce ocean plastic pollution by 2040. The findings of our analysis were published in the peer-reviewed journal, Science.

The Recycling Partnership is the action agent transforming the recycling system and activating a circular economy for packaging. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs and tackle circular economy challenges. We work with companies to make their packaging more circular and help them meet their climate and sustainability goals. And we work with government to develop the policy solutions that will address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system.

The Recycling Partnership’s 2021 report, Paying it Forward: Investment in Recycling Will Pay Dividends, calls for a $17 billion investment over five years to completely transform the U.S. residential recycling system, maximize its potential, and make it as accessible to all households as trash service. The investment, which would be applied to proven recycling solutions, will have an immediate positive impact including an economic benefit of $30.8 billion over 10 years (including wages, taxes, landfill savings, and the value of recyclables).

The 2020 State of Curbside Recycling Reportprovides a snapshot of the challenges facing the U.S. residential recycling system and recommends a set of integrated strategies to help the system level up and achieve its full potential. 

The Pathway to Circularity provides a methodology and approach to problem solving that will address the limitations associated with the recyclability and circularity of certain packaging materials today. This action-oriented and solutions-based initiative navigates the recycling industry for current and future materials and packages to identify challenges and gaps that need to be addressed to reach true circularity.

According to The Bridge to Circularity, there is no single solution to transition to a circular economy–an economic system aimed at eliminating waste by design, keeping materials in use and regenerating natural systems.

The Circular Economy Accelerator convenes leaders across the value chain to develop and pursue policy solutions to solve the challenges of the U.S. residential recycling system at scale.

Peer Reviewer & Industry Resources

Determining a plastic package or item’s recyclability goes beyond whether a specific municipal program collects it, or whether it’s made from a particular plastic resin. APR’s Design Guide helps package designers measure each aspect of a package design against industry accepted criteria to ensure that it is truly recycling compatible.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative unites more than 1,000 organizations behind a common vision for a circular economy for plastic, in which it never becomes waste or pollution. In a circular economy, we eliminate the plastic we don’t need, innovate towards new materials and business models, and circulate all the plastic we use so it stays in the economy and out of the environment. More than 250 businesses, accounting for over 20% of global plastic packaging use, have set ambitious 2025 targets in line with this vision.

The Upstream Innovation Guide provides a framework for action to help businesses design out packaging waste, with 100+ practical examples and downloadable resources, including presentation slides and workshop materials.

The Plastics Learning Pathway is a set of learning modules to expand your understanding of the circular economy for plastic.

Reuse: Rethinking Packaging aims to inspire and help structure thinking around reuse models.

The U.S. Plastics Pact brings together businesses, government entities, non-governmental organizations, researchers, and other stakeholders who will work collectively toward a common vision of a circular economy for plastics, as outlined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Initiative. This vision aims to ensure that plastics never become waste by eliminating the plastics we don’t need, innovating to ensure that the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulating all the plastic items we use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment.

ReSource is World Wildlife Fund’s activation hub for turning large-scale corporate plastic commitments into meaningful, measurable change. Through an innovative measurement and reporting tool, ReSource helps companies measure and publicly track the progress of their plastic mitigation efforts, and use these insights to inform the interventions and actions that will maximize—and multiply—their potential for impact. The goal of this collective corporate effort is to engage 100 companies to prevent at least 50M tons of plastic waste by 2030.