The state of Tennessee’s circular economy

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

A recent survey by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices of over 300 industries in Tennessee reveals a truly missed opportunity. That opportunity is more than likely being missed across the entire United States.

The Tennessee survey revealed that 41 percent of industries surveyed have their materials recycled outside of the state. Forty-six percent would like assistance finding recycling options for their materials, and 63 percent would be willing to collaborate to create a network of industries to pursue solutions in the recycling and reuse or repurposing of their discarded material.  

While networking platforms exist, such as the recently launched Tennessee Materials Marketplace and the Tennessee Recycling Coalition, the opportunity that is still being missed is this: Over 8,000 Tennesseans go to work every day to create products out of paper, plastics, cardboard and glass. The recovery rate of those materials is still far outstripped by the domestic demand for them.

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