Technological watch

Innovation and Partnership at the Core of Solving the Plastic Waste Problem

WASHINGTON (April 21, 2020) – The Discovery Channel recently aired “The Story of Plastic,” produced by Story of Stuff Project. The American Chemistry Council issued the following statement, which may be attributed to Keith Christman, ACC’s managing director of plastics markets:

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and its members share a common commitment with the producers of “The Story of Plastic” – reducing plastic waste and protecting the environment. Alongside plans for addressing clean water, energy needs and global standards of living, in 2018 we announced industry-wide goals to make all plastic packaging recyclable in the United States by 2030 and to reuse, recycle or recover all plastic packaging by 2040.

It’s clear that the current recycling system was not designed to handle all of today’s waste stream and that new approaches are needed. To address this reality, plastics makers are investing in innovative efforts to rethink and advance the ways in which we design materials, products and systems to reuse and recycle those resources. In less than three years, the private sector has invested $4.6 billion in advanced recycling technologies to complement and support existing recycling systems. In addition, many ACC members helped found the Alliance to End Plastics Waste which aims to invest $1.5 billion over five years mainly in rapidly developing countries that lack basic waste management and recycling.

We embrace the opportunity to work collaboratively with public officials, consumer product companies, nonprofits, and communities across the world to implement real, effective change and achieve a truly circular economy. Solving a problem of this scale also will require a shift in cultural mindset and widespread education to better understand what a world with less waste can look like.

We welcome conversation on the steps we are taking to reach our plastic waste reduction goals and how we can all work together to solve this complex problem in the years ahead.

Publication date: 21/04/2020

American Plastics Council

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31