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American Chemistry Council announces plan to continue endless plastic production

by Perry Wheeler

July 13, 2021

Greenpeace response to trade group's plastics plan

Washington, DC – The American Chemistry Council (ACC), which lobbies on behalf of the nation’s largest petrochemical and fossil fuel companies, released a five-point plan to bolster recycling efforts to “reduce plastic waste” today. The plan calls for Congress to require a national standard for plastic packaging that contains at least 30 percent recycled content by 2030, to develop a regulatory system for rapid scaling of “advanced recycling,” and a producer responsibility system that raises funds to improve recycling.

September 2020 report from Greenpeace USA examined 52 chemical or advanced recycling projects touted by the ACC, finding that many are either not viable or misleadingly promoted as recycling when they produce fuels and waxes. The report concluded that these were not solutions to the plastic pollution crisis, but rather bait-and-switch PR tactics.

Greenpeace UK’s investigative platform Unearthed revealed the extent of the ACC’s desperation last year as it worked to use a US-Kenya trade deal to expand the plastic industry’s footprint across Africa. The group was also found lobbying against changes to the international Basel Convention, which puts limits on plastic waste entering low and middle income countries.

In response to the ACC’s five-point plan, Greenpeace USA Global Plastic Project Leader Graham Forbes said:

“The ACC and its plastic producing members are showing their desperation with this latest attempt to continue producing harmful single-use plastics. Recycling has been the plastic industry’s best friend, despite all of its failures, for decades. The ACC knows well that this is not a plan to end plastic waste, as it claims, but rather a plan for industry to continue producing plastics for as long as possible. So-called chemical and advanced recycling technologies are the latest fantasies touted by industry because they realize that many people have caught onto their con around plastic recycling.

“The vast majority of single-use plastics are not recycled, will not become recyclable through any silver bullet technology, and should be eliminated entirely. It is insulting to the American people that the plastics industry continues to regurgitate tired talking points about recycling ending the plastic pollution crisis while it ramps up plastic production across the country. If the American Chemistry Council wanted to make a real difference on plastic pollution, it would lobby itself and its polluting members out of existence.”

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Contact: Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, P: 301-675-8766

Perry Wheeler

By Perry Wheeler

Perry Wheeler is a senior communications specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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