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Plastics industry responds to criticism of advanced recycling

Plastic makers actually do support producer responsibility systems that commit money to boost recycling infrastructure, while leveraging market competition to drive innovation. And we’ve called on Congress to require all U.S. plastic packaging to include 30% recycled plastic by 2030 in our 5 Actions for Sustainable Change.

A sustainable, circular economy for plastic requires advanced recycling technologies that complement conventional recycling. Advanced recycling allows more of the plastic we rely on to be turned into new products instead of sent to landfills.

However, in her opinion article, Enck equates advanced recycling with incineration. This claim is demonstrably, indisputably false, as previously noted on these pages by a New York City College engineering expert.

Relying on Enck’s claim to make public policy on plastic recycling would be a step backward for our environment.

Advanced recycling technologies can take mixed, soiled, and hard-to-recycle plastic, like packaging films and medical waste, and turn them into brand new plastic – unlike incineration. Already over 50 products on the marketplace use plastic made from advanced recycling. Another bonus: Advanced recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to virgin production and helps displace fossil fuel extraction.

Your readers can learn more about advanced recycling opportunities and its environmental profile from experts that have studied it, including McKinsey & Company and Good Company.

Let’s use science and smart policies to recover and recycle used plastic — our environment and future will benefit.

Joshua Baca
Vice president of plastics
American Chemistry Council
Washington, D.C.

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