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Arkansas Is 13th State to Pass Advanced Recycling Legislation to Help End Plastic Waste

Matthew Kastner

WASHINGTON (May 4, 2021) – This week, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law HB 1944, which will enable greater adoption of advanced recycling in the state. The American Chemistry Council issued the following statement, which may be attributed to Joshua Baca, ACC’s vice president of plastics:

“The American Chemistry Council is pleased to see more states recognizing the environmental and economic benefits advanced recycling technologies provide. We welcome Arkansas as the 13th state since 2017—and the fourth state this year—to adopt such legislation. Arkansas joins Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona in encouraging the growth of advanced recycling by helping ensure these technologies have a predictable and transparent regulatory framework for operation.

“We thank Senator Scott Flippo and Representative Carlton Wing for sponsoring this important legislation and Governor Asa Hutchinson for signing it into law. We look forward to seeing additional states take a step closer to eliminating plastic waste by passing similar legislation this year.

“By signing HB 1944 into law, Arkansas positions itself as a state leading the way to help end plastic waste. Advanced recycling allows us to recycle plastics typically destined for landfill using innovative technologies. Advanced recycling, coupled with mechanical recycling, will help us be more effective in reducing plastic waste and creating a more circular economy.

“HB 1944’s enactment will help create local demand for recycling programs and recycling centers that turn hard-to-recycle plastics currently destined for landfills into valuable new materials—including new plastics. In Arkansas, this could displace nearly 280,000 tons of plastics created from virgin natural resources in Arkansas each year. And converting just 25% of the recoverable plastics in the state could generate approximately $149 million in economic output each year.

“The regulatory framework supported in HB 1944 is just one set of regulations that advanced recycling facilities must follow to operate. A recent report by Oregon-based sustainability firm Good Company found that air emissions from advanced recycling are similar or lower than those from other facilities commonly found in our communities, such as hospitals, college campuses, food processing, and auto manufacturing. These facilities must meet strict emission requirements from federal, state, and/or local agencies.”

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

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