Technological watch

Plastics Legislation Needed, Not Increased Costs on Americans

WASHINGTON (June 30, 2022) — Today the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change is holding a hearing to discuss four bills pertaining to plastics and recycling. The following may be attributed to Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

“Today’s hearing by the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change to discuss plastics and sustainability is a key step toward creating effective, bipartisan legislation to address plastics in the environment and to improve recycling collection and rates. Plastics are vital materials that have helped usher in our modern life and are essential to meeting sustainable development goals. Any legislation must not take us backwards.

“Last year America’s plastic makers released 5 Actions for Sustainable Change, and we are urging Congress to pass legislation reflecting those solutions. These 5 Actions are more comprehensive than the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA) in that they address all plastic packaging, not a narrow list of plastic items. The 5 Actions also would dramatically improve recycling by fostering advanced recycling, instead of discounting the innovative recycling technologies needed to rapidly ramp up plastics recycling to meet growing demand.

“The BFFPPA appears tone deaf to the struggles facing Americans today. Inflation is at 40-year highs, supply chains are still constrained, and gas prices are soaring. Yet proponents of the BFFPPA would raise the costs of essential items that Americans depend on, from baby formula to food to body wash. Additionally, the legislation would risk 910,000 jobs and curtail $413 billion in output over five years. As recession risks loom, now is not the time to purposefully slow down the U.S. economy.

“But we must act to improve plastics recycling and help prevent plastics from entering our environment. Both the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act and the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2022 reflect commonsense approaches to improve recycling in the U.S. ACC supports these bills and urges Congress to go even further by requiring all U.S. plastic packaging to contain at least 30% recycled plastic by 2030, and by supporting producer responsibility systems to raise private funds to build more recycling infrastructure.  

“ACC appreciates the Subcommittee for holding this hearing today, and we look forward to working collaboratively with Congress and other stakeholders to pass meaningful legislation to accelerate a more circular economy for plastics.”

Publication date: 29/06/2022

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