National Harbor, Md. — Consumers and regulators alike are increasingly demanding details behind plastic recycling.
"It's really going from a nice-to-have to an absolute-must-have," said Mark Huber, vice president of business development at iSustain, which provides recycling and landfill diversion services.
Anne Johnson, a principal and senior vice president of global corporate sustainability at consulting firm Resource Recycling Systems, is seeing the change.
"I think the bar is rising rapidly, both through consumer expectation and regulatory pressure to have more transparent and complete supply chain reporting," she said at the Plastics Recycling Conference in National Harbor, near Washington, D.C.
"We're seeing growth in regulations requiring information across the entire supply chain. So Europe has passed some new regulations that you need to be able to assure that no child labor or slave labor was used in the sourcing of your materials. I think this requirement for supply chain — not just accountability, but reporting from where is the origin of the material, who processed it, where it is going — is really important for that consumer story so they know that what they put in that bin didn't end up in a pile of plastic in Malaysia or something like that," she said.