INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – The Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) announces the success of its first Full Circle event, a circular economy-focused policy discussion hosted in partnership with Knauf Insulation, Inc
. The event was held Wednesday, September 29 from 2-4pm at Bottleworks Hotel
in downtown Indianapolis. The IRC co-hosted the event with Taft Law, the Indiana Manufacturer’s Association (IMA), the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), Strategic Materials, Inc. (SMI), and the Recycling Partnership.
This invitation-only event was attended by 63 individuals representing Congressional and state elected leaders, manufacturing employers, recycling and supply chain partners, economic development leaders, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations in Indiana. State elected officials in attendance included Rep. Mike Speedy, who chairs the House Environmental Affairs Committee, Rep. Beau Baird, Rep. Ed Clere, Rep. Sue Errington, Rep. Carey Hamilton, Rep. Donna Schaibley, Sen. Mike Gaskill, and Sen. Jean Breaux. Representatives for 3 Indiana Congressional leaders were also present, including Sen. Todd Young, Sen. Mike Braun, and Rep. Trey Hollingsworth.
“This event was a unique opportunity for policy makers and economic development leaders to virtually visit a major employer in Indiana that exists within the circular economy and manufacturing industry, hear about their supply chain challenges that intersect with local recycling, and explore opportunities to leverage their strengths with investment, policy, and innovation,” said Allyson Mitchell, Executive Director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition. “The exchange between legislators and industry representatives prompted requests by both to continue exploring policy opportunities. The IRC and our members and partners look forward to deeper conversations as we approach the 2022 legislative session in the coming months.”
During an immersive virtual facility tour, attendees heard from the Shelbyville facility’s Plant Manager, Craig Laker, about Knauf Insulation’s unique strengths and challenges and witnessed the relationship between the manufacturing supply chain and the circular economy. Following the tour, representatives from IDEM’s Office of Program Support shared the results of a recent study
, commissioned by Indiana’s Recycling Market Development Board. The study found that Indiana recycling collectors, brokers, and processors accounted for 8,533 direct, in-direct, and induced jobs in 2019. Those jobs’ effects add $1.7 billion to Indiana’s economy through wages, benefits, and spending.
Currently, the State of Indiana has a recycling rate of approximately 19%, which is significantly lower than the national average of 32%, despite Indiana having a goal of 50% for its recycling rate.
“IDEM is proud to partner with the IRC on this event because of its focus on strengthening the local supply chain, supporting the state of Indiana’s 50% recycling goal, and creating economic benefit for local communities,” added Julia Wickard, IDEM’s Assistant Commissioner.
The event culminated in a facilitated discussion, co-led by the IRC and Taft Law and featuring other event co-hosts and industry partners, that explored policy solutions to manage risks, solve problems, and capture opportunities to leverage Indiana’s robust manufacturing industry and transportation and logistics network. A surprise guest even helped illustrate the value of glass recycling and the circular economy in Indiana, while providing a bit of unexpected nostalgia and humor.
“As a manufacturer headquartered in Indiana, Knauf Insulation was grateful for the opportunity to share with legislators and other stakeholders the critical importance of recycling as part of a robust raw material supply chain, stated Brett Welch, Director of Sustainability for Knauf. “Knauf Insulation uses hundreds of millions of pounds of recycled glass annually but unfortunately can source only a small fraction from Indiana. We look forward to working with this group to find ways to enhance material recovery that supports local communities and businesses and makes Indiana even more competitive for business growth.”
For more information, contact:
Allyson Mitchell, Executive Director
Indiana Recycling Coalition