The Circular Economy (pt. 4): What's the Government Got to Do With It?

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

How are governments making the circular economy a reality here in the United States? Generally, within the U.S., most policies that have circular economic aims are not explicitly labeled as such. These types of policies are often referred to as extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies or a collection of policies that may be categorized as dealing with issues related to waste from specific products or industries. For example, the bill may be narrowly focused on managing waste from batteries, plastic water bottles, or e-commerce packaging.

The United States has not demonstrated the same commitment to circular economic principles that some other countries have, and currently, there are few national circular economy or EPR-related policies that we can point to. Nevertheless, there are organizations currently trying to change this.

For example, the U.S. Plastic Pact is a collection of over 850 government entities, companies, non-governmental organizations, and research institutions committed to creating a framework for scalable solutions to achieve a circular economy within the United States. The Plastic Pact, led by the Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund with support from the