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

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 (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $486 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

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