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WASHINGTON (November 19, 2020) – The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed The Partnering and Leveraging Assistance to Stop Trash for Cleaner Seas Act (PLASTICS Act, H.R. 4636), which seeks to reduce marine debris and plastic waste in the ocean by leveraging U.S. leadership and resources to support effective waste management systems in developing countries.

The following statement may be attributed to Joshua Baca, vice president of ACC’s Plastics Division:

"America’s plastic makers are grateful for the leadership of Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) in guiding this important bi-partisan legislation. The PLASTICS Act will help reduce ocean plastics by encouraging innovative, market-based solutions, catalyzing private capital to enable the development of integrated waste management systems, and strengthening markets for recycled materials. Each of these factors is critical for keeping plastics out of the ocean.

"Importantly, this legislation also supports local economic development through programs that assist community members, particularly women, youth and marginalized populations, in deriving benefits from recycling and participation in waste management systems.

"Bringing together and maximizing investments is critical to realizing the PLASTICS Act’s purpose. The legislation encourages partnerships between public and private sectors, such as with USAID and Circulate Capital, which created the first global investment fund dedicated to preventing ocean plastic.

"In 2018, America’s plastic makers established a goal of making all plastic packaging in the United States recyclable or recoverable by 2030 and for all domestic plastic packaging to be reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040. Helping advance collaboration, ACC developed Guiding Principles to accelerate elimination of plastic waste and create a more circular economy for plastics.

“In addition to these domestic goals, many of America’s plastic makers are among the founding members of and contributors to the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, an international non-profit organization with a goal of deploying $1.5 billion over five years to develop the systems, knowledge, and infrastructure needed to collect and repurpose waste, including in regions where most environmental leakage occurs. Through programs and partnerships, the work of the Alliance covers four strategic areas: infrastructure, innovation, education and engagement, and clean up. Other key members of the Alliance include consumer brand companies, plastic processors and recyclers.”

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