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Plastic Makers: U.S. Plastics Pact’s Lack of Independent, Transparent Review Is Problematic

WASHINGTON, DC (January 25, 2022) – In response to today’s release from the U.S. Plastics Pact regarding packaging materials to eliminate by 2025, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued this statement, which may be attributed to Joshua Baca, ACC’s vice president of plastics:

“America’s plastic makers are dedicated to achieving a more circular economy in which plastics are made to be reused again and again. We were one of the first industries to set ambitious, forward-looking circularity goals back in 2018 for 100% of plastic packaging be reused, recycled, or recovered. Coupled with private sector investments to scale advanced recycling and innovation, we have also supported a requirement that all plastic packaging include at least 30% recycled plastic by 2030 as detailed in 5 Actions for Sustainable Change. 

Unfortunately, the U.S. Plastics Pact lacked a transparent third-party, data-driven and scientific approach, and its process seems to be rooted in ideology and a predetermined, misguided outcome. In fact, the list of plastic materials they suggest be eliminated by 2025 will only hinder the acceleration of a circular economy, slow progress toward a lower carbon future, and reduce our ability to use greater amounts of recycled material in plastic packaging. 

Amid a global supply chain and inflation crisis, the recommendations put forth by the U.S. Plastics Pact will worsen setbacks at a time when consumers are looking for certainty, not further disruption, of global supply chains. Additionally, the Pact’s recommendations are likely to increase food waste, promote the use of many materials with a higher carbon footprint than plastics, and do little to achieve the plastics value chain’s ambitious sustainability goals. 

“Our hope is that the Pact will partner with us to leverage our industry’s expertise and the extensive work we've done to achieve a more circular economy for all materials by scaling the growth of innovative recycling technologies – rather than to promote defacto bans on certain types of plastic packaging. ACC and its member companies remain committed partners in sustainability and will continue the hard work needed to achieve circularity across the plastics value chain with concrete and measurable actions.

Publication date: 18/01/2022

American Plastics Council

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Last update: 2022-01-31