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  • Press Release

EPA’s Federal Marine Litter Strategy to Help Solve Plastic Waste Challenge

Matthew Kastner

WASHINGTON (October 20, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday introduced the Federal Strategy for Addressing the Global Issue of Marine Litter. The following statement may be attributed to Joshua Baca, vice president of ACC’s Plastics Division:

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newly introduced strategy will implement the Save Our Seas Act, bringing to bear the expertise of NOAA, EPA, USAID, DOE, and other federal agencies to help keep used plastics out of our ocean. Better global coordination is critical to strengthening our response to plastic waste and creating a more circular economy for plastics.

“ACC and our members are deeply committed to ending plastic waste in the environment. We actively support the bipartisan Save Our Seas (SOS) Act (versions 1.0 and 2.0), as well as the RECOVER Act, the RECYCLE Act, and the 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 recycling materials. ACC members lead in the deployment of system improvements and technology advances to convert a variety of used plastics into resources to make new plastics and other valuable products.

“We’ve also developed Guiding Principles to accelerate elimination of plastic waste and create a more circular economy for plastics. Our Principles include our circularity goals whereby 100% of U.S. plastic packaging is recyclable or recoverable by 2030, and that 100% of U.S. plastic packaging is reused, recycled or recovered by 2040. We also support multi-material packaging fees, landfill fees to help equalize the cost of recycling and landfilling, and minimum standards for recycled content.

“Additionally, we’re tracking investments in plastics recycling capacity and, as of early September 2020, ACC is following 64 announced projects in mechanical and advanced recycling in the U.S. valued at $5.3 billion. The projects represent a wide mix of technologies, product slates, and scale. Collectively, these projects have the potential to divert more than 4.0 million metric tons (approximately 8.9 billion pounds) of waste from landfills each year.

“And ACC serves as Co-Chair of the  Global Plastics Alliance (GPA), a collaboration of plastics producers and manufacturers worldwide, committed to working on the problem of ocean litter. The GPA’s 2020 Progress Report highlights some 395 projects designed to reduce waste, increase recycling, and foster regional and global partnerships.”

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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