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WASHINGTON (October 21, 2019)—Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) last week introduced 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. assistance to support effective waste management systems in developing countries.

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

“The American Chemistry Council strongly supports the recently introduced PLASTICS Act, which seeks to reduce ocean plastics by encouraging innovative, market-based solutions and catalyzing private capital to enable the development of integrated waste management systems and strengthen markets for recycled materials. Each of these factors is critical for keeping plastics out of the ocean.

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

In 2018, America’s plastic makers established a goal of making all plastic packaging in the United States reusable, recyclable, or recoverable by 2030 and for all plastic packaging to be reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040. A collaborative effort—involving government, industry, recyclers, and other stakeholders—will be critical to achieving these goals.

“In addition to these domestic goals, many of America’s plastic makers are among the founders of and contributors to the  Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a new nonprofit with a goal of deploying $1.5 billion to help develop the systems, knowledge, and infrastructure needed to collect and repurpose waste, including in regions around the world where most environmental leakage occurs. Other key members of the Alliance include consumer brand companies, plastic processors and recyclers.”

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