WASHINGTON (March 22, 2022) — Today at the World Petrochemical Conference, American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Vice President of Plastics, Joshua Baca, will highlight the immense potential of advanced recycling for transforming the way plastics are made and remade in a continuous circle. “Our goal is to harness the technologies and innovations that helps keep plastics in our economy and out of our environment,” Baca said.
Although the technologies behind advanced recycling are varied, the concept and outcome are simple: These are game-changing manufacturing processes with the potential to remake much more of the 90% of plastics that aren’t recycled today into high quality new plastics. Even mixed plastics and plastics with food residue can now be remade into new plastics approved for food, pharmaceutical and medical use – through advanced recycling.
“Every day, a circular economy for plastics grows more and more within reach thanks to innovations in advanced recycling,” stated Baca. “In their infancy, many advanced recycling processes focused on converting used plastics into fuel. Today, these technologies have matured and are making new plastics that are already on the market. The world’s largest plastic makers, along with recycling companies, consumer brands, cities and states are seeking to scale advanced recycling and accelerate circularity goals.”
More than 400 brands have pledged to increase use of recycled plastics in consumer products and packaging in the coming years, and advanced recycling will help meet that growing demand. It will also help our nation reach the goal of using 30% recycled plastic in all U.S. plastic packaging by 2030, as proposed in our 5 Actions for Sustainable Change. A 2021 report by Closed Loop Partners estimates advanced recycling could double the plastics packaging recycling rate by 2030.
Baca emphasized that America’s plastic makers are stepping up efforts to help build awareness of advanced recycling among policymakers, thought leaders, citizens and other stakeholders. To kick-start these efforts, the group released a brief explainer on these technologies and their applications along with a new video that provides an inside look inside an advanced recycling facility to see the process in action.