Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623
September 21, 2010
Project Leaders Urged to Work with Plastics Makers
WASHINGTON, DC (September 21, 2010) – Today representatives from marine research and corporate social responsibility organizations announced a new project that will ask companies to pledge to annually report their use of plastics in an effort to reduce waste. The announcement came as part of the Clinton Global Initiative. Steve Russell, vice president of the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, which represents the nation’s leading makers of plastics, responded with the following statement:
“America’s plastics makers support efforts to increase the efficient use of plastics and reduce waste. Through exciting new materials and technologies, plastics makers are providing innovative new products that reduce energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste, and we look forward to sharing those positive environmental benefits.
“Plastics play a key role in driving sustainability, and delivering business value. Studies show that the use of plastics rather than other materials in packaging, auto parts, electronics and building and construction reduces overall energy use by 57 percent, and generates 61 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
“Companies that make and use plastics have achieved a great deal of success in learning to use plastics materials efficiently. From the lightweight packaging used in milk jugs, to innovations in durable car parts, today’s plastics are stronger, use less raw material and weigh a fraction of what they used to, and more and more of them are being recycled. As the tracking initiative is developed we will work to ensure that project leaders and others can take account for these and other achievements.
Innovations in Plastics Drive Environmental Performance
- Since 1991, advancements in the design of different plastic packaging materials have resulted in energy and greenhouse gas emissions savings of nearly 30 percent.
- In 2008, the United States recycled more than 4 billion pounds of plastics, enough energy to heat 2.1 million homes.
- Plastics have helped to reduce the weight of today’s cars by 450 pounds, which has reduced annual fuel consumption by $20 billion annually.
- Recent data show that the energy needed to produce plastics insulation materials is balanced by energy savings within the first 4 month of use.
- Throughout their life cycle, plastics insulation boards save 150 times more energy than is needed for their production.
Learn more about plastics.