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Beyond Plastics Report Ignores Critical Role Plastics Play in Creating a Lower Carbon Future and More Circular Economy

Plastics contribute to a more sustainable world

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Matthew Kastner
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WASHINGTON (October 21, 2021) – In response to a recent report from Beyond Plastics, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement which may be attributed to Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics:

“The Beyond Plastics report fails to recognize the many environmental benefits plastics provide that move society toward a lower carbon future and a more circular economy.

“Like other manufacturing processes, plastics manufacturing does emit greenhouse gases (GHG). However, many of the products plastics enable, such as lighter vehicles, wind turbine blades, and foam insulation, help reduce GHG emissions by saving energy or creating renewable energy. Moreover, plastic packaging generally requires less material to perform the same function and is lighter to transport compared to alternatives such as glass, metal, and paper. Plastics can ultimately result in a net savings of GHG emissions over their lifecycles compared to the use of many alternatives.

“The report also neglects the importance of advanced recycling to creating a more circular economy. Advanced recycling technologies are manufacturing processes that can create new products from used plastics without burning or incineration. The advanced recycling sector is gaining momentum at an accelerating pace, with major consumer brands announcing new partnerships to use plastic packaging made from these technologies.

“Everyone has a right to clean air and water. All of ACC’s member companies are subject to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations and permitting requirements, and implement Responsible Care®, the chemical industry’s environment, health, safety and security initiative that helps demonstrate our members commitment to the health and safety of their employees, the communities in which they operate and the environment as a whole. Additionally, America’s plastic makers are asking Congress to take 5 Actions for Sustainable Change that will help address the issue of plastic in the environment as well as foster a lower carbon future and a more circular economy.”

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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