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Manufacturers Brainstorm To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Packaging Materials

A picture of flattened soda cans

A growing contingent of manufacturers is working to make products with packaging that won't end up in a landfill.

They'll have a workshop devoted to education and idea-swapping at this week's Zeroing in on Waste Reduction event in Asheville. Carolina Recycling Association hosts the annual conference and trade show, which will gather 700 exhibitors, businesses, speakers and participants.

Diane Davis is the executive director of the CRA. She said making products that limit waste can be cost-effective while being environmentally friendly.

“These large manufacturers, and small, are starting to look very carefully at everything that they produce. They're trying to make sure that their processes lend toward being able to reduce, reuse, and recycle all of these materials,” Davis said. “And maybe part of those materials might be composted, or might be recycled, or might put back into other processes.”

Davis said the conference has grown over the decades, as the general public becomes more supportive of recycling efforts. The recycling industry has created thousands of jobs in North Carolina.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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