Natural resource extraction and processing account for approximately half of global greenhouse gas emissions. How we extract, use, and dispose of these resources can also affect already vulnerable communities disproportionately. A circular economy approach is essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and for ensuring communities do not bear the environmental impacts of natural resource use. A circular economy approach reduces materials use, redesigns materials to be less resource intensive, and recaptures “waste” as a resource that can serve as feedstock to manufacture new materials and products.
EPA is developing a series of strategies to build a circular economy for all. The first part of this series is the National Recycling Strategy, which identifies actions to address challenges facing the U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system. EPA is seeking partners to implement these actions to create a stronger, more resilient, and more cost-effective domestic recycling system.