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Plastics industry shows desperation ahead of Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act reintroduction

by Perry Wheeler

March 24, 2021

Greenpeace responds to plastic industry lobbying against Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act

Washington, DC – Plastics industry executives held an online news conference yesterday to voice their concerns over the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, as the bill is set to be reintroduced in Congress. Participants, including Dow, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Brightmark LLC, Agilyx Inc., and Sealed Air Corp., urged Congress to reject the bill as they fear its impacts to plastic production and “chemical and advanced recycling” technologies.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act is the most comprehensive bill ever introduced in Congress to address the pollution crisis. It holds polluters responsible for the cost of waste management, places a temporary moratorium on new plastic facilities, and reduces unnecessary plastics. Chris Jahn, president and CEO of the ACC, states in the industry’s press release that the bill would “threaten our environment and any hope of making progress in the fight against climate change.”

In response to the plastics industry press conference and ahead of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act reintroduction, Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar said:

“The plastics industry’s desperation is showing as legislation nears to rein in its growing path of destruction. A good barometer to judge a bill’s merits on combating plastic pollution is how frantic the industry gets to lobby against it. When the CEO of the American Chemistry Council actually claims that legislation to limit plastic pollution ‘threatens our environment and any hope of making progress in the fight against climate change,’ you know this is a bill worth passing immediately.

“The fossil fuel industry wants nothing more than to see the continued expansion of plastic production. Executives will continue to tout unproven and unviable ‘recycling’ technologies because it is their only hope to appear as if they are trying to address the pollution crisis. While these companies have not solved a thing through their recycling initiatives over the years, they sure know how to recycle failed arguments.

“The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act is the best chance we have to protect our environment and the health of frontline communities from plastic pollution — and the plastic industry.”

In September, Greenpeace USA released an analysis of 52 projects touted by the ACC as chemical or advanced recycling, finding that many are either not viable or misleadingly promoted as recycling when they largely produce fuels and waxes. Despite the fact that these projects have not proven viable, consumer goods companies have promoted them through their corporate responsibility materials and circular economy commitments.

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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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