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Jennifer Killinger
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WASHINGTON (April 22, 2020) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by reaffirming its commitments supporting protection of the environment, conserving materials and resources, reducing waste through reuse and recycling, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants in the manufacture and distribution of products.

These commitments were set out in the industry-wide Sustainability Principles that ACC announced in 2018, alongside plans for addressing clean water, energy needs and global standards of living.

On plastics, ACC is deeply committed to ending waste in the environment, and has set goals to make all plastic packaging recyclable in the United States by 2030, and to reuse, recycle or recover all plastic packaging by 2040.

Last month, Keith Christman, ACC’s managing director of plastics markets, reaffirmed the commitments on plastic packaging when he testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change.

“In less than three years, we have seen more than $4.6 billion in new investments in mechanical and advanced plastics recycling with potential to convert 6 billion pounds of plastics into new products,” Christman said. “These technologies offer significant economic and environmental potential.”

Commenting on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Keith Christman said:

“Fifty years ago, millions of Americans came together on the first Earth Day to call for much stronger action on the environment. Since then, governments, industry and civil society have worked together to make our air and water cleaner, to make better use of our natural resources, and – in recent years – to reduce greenhouse gases and tackle climate change.

“Like a growing number of Americans, ACC and its members share these goals, and we are committed to playing our part in achieving them in the important decade ahead.”

In 2018, ACC unveiled a set of industry-wide Sustainability Principles that articulate the chemical industry’s commitments to sustainability, including advancing safe, innovative, effective chemical products, materials and technologies that help address climate change, hunger, clean water, energy needs and global standards of living.

Additionally, the principles outline industry’s commitment to:

  • Develop new ways to measure and promote the safe and sustainable use of chemicals and promote innovations in product design, product re-use, repurposing and recycling to extend the useful life and value of all products.
  • Elevate the quality of life for people around the world through technologies that improve health and wellness, enable food security, increase access to clean water and provide comfortable shelter.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacture and use of our products and help protect our environment by supporting efforts to reduce and manage waste so oceans and water sources are not polluted with mishandled plastic or other materials. 
  • Go beyond regulatory requirements to manage, measure and report industry-wide environmental, health and safety and security performance through Responsible Care®.
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