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Industry Responds to Questions Raised in New Book

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2011) - Publisher Haughton Mifflin recently released a new book, "Plastic: A Toxic Love Story," by Susan Freinkel, which raises questions about some plastics. The American Chemistry Council released the following statement, which may be attributed to Steve Russell , vice president of plastics.   

Susan Frankel's book points out that plastics enable us to do amazing things-from preserving and protecting virtually everything we eat, to making our homes and cars significantly more energy efficient to improving access to life-saving medical devices, electronics and other staples of modern life. 

And America's plastics makers agree that recycling-along with reducing, reusing and recovering-is a key driver of sustainability. Over the last two decades, plastics makers and recyclers together have spent more than $2 billion on developing technologies, building infrastructure and increasing education to grow plastics recycling. Recycling is central to this industry because it's good for business, it's good for the environment, and it's the right thing to do.

One of plastics' greatest contributions is today's packaging, which has become lighter and more efficient than ever before.

Plastic packaging helps keep food fresh, reduce waste and protect products from farms or factories to store shelves to our homes. Studies show that by minimizing breakage and spoilage, packaging actually prevents far more waste than it generates. And plastic packaging often uses significantly less material than alternative forms of packaging. That's important because lighter weight means more product can be shipped using less energy, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Plastics used in contact with food are reviewed and approved as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they may be marketed to consumers. And when it comes to the safety of other household plastics and plastics ingredients, consumers can have confidence that they are subject to a comprehensive set of federal rules and more than a dozen laws and regulations.

We can all help to lighten our environmental footprint by looking for opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics and other types of packaging, but we shouldn't lose sight of why we use plastic packaging in the first place.


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