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Jennifer Killinger
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WASHINGTON (July 11, 2018)—Recently some businesses have announced plans to redesign carryout cups and lids for greater recyclability and to eliminate the wasteful use of straws. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement, which may be attributed to Steve Russell, vice president of plastics:

“Plastics makers have a strong track record of innovating for greater efficiency and sustainable design. We collaborate with our value-chain partners to improve the design of materials, products, and packages to reduce waste and increase recyclability—and we commend those who are creating a more circular economy for plastics.

Innovations in design and systems to reduce waste are essential because studies show that simply replacing plastics with other materials in packaging and consumer products would increase costs to the environment fourfold. New designs and approaches must be evaluated with an eye toward understanding the full range of benefits and impacts throughout an item’s total life cycle.

Governments, companies, citizens and nonprofits all are looking at ways to reduce waste and keep trash out of our oceans. We support responsible choices so customers aren’t automatically provided with straws, but can get one on request. We need to focus on the big picture—keeping used plastics out of our rivers and waterways will require comprehensive efforts to expand waste management systems, particularly in parts of the world that currently lack them. Scientists have determined the vast majority of ocean plastics come from rapidly developing regions where a growing need for modern materials has outpaced systems to manage waste. Plastics makers are supporting these comprehensive programs.”

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