Overregulating the chemistry industry jeopardizes innovation, jobs, and economic growth. Learn more.

  • Read time: 3 minutes
  • Press Release

America’s Plastic Makers Encourage Congressional Focus on Advanced Recycling to Achieve Circularity

Matthew Kastner

WASHINGTON, DC (December 15, 2022) — Today the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice and Regulatory Oversight held a hearing to examine solutions to end plastic waste. The following statement may be attributed to Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

 “America’s plastic makers are encouraged that both parties in the Senate are engaged in addressing solutions that keep used plastic out of our environment.  

“Rapidly growing advanced recycling technologies offer a vital pathway toward achieving plastics circularity. Continued investments in advanced recycling are key to promoting a circular economy for plastics.

“The testimony of Eric Hartz, president and co-founder of Nexus Circular, helped explain the advanced technology his company uses to recycle plastics that typically are not recycled through traditional processes. He set out a clear, encouraging path to deploy technologies, such as pyrolysis, that can significantly increase the types and amounts of plastics that can be recycled.

“In addition, Mr. Hartz dispelled some of the inaccuracies around advanced technologies being spread by organizations that are unfamiliar with these technologies, including organizations at the hearing.

“In particular, Mr. Hartz helped clarify the clear distinction between advanced recycling and incineration.

Eric Hartz, President and Co-founder of Nexus Circular
The used plastics we accept are not waste. They are materials that have been segregated from the waste stream and often bound for landfills. There are no odor issues where we operate. We do some light sorting for suitability. Almost all the used plastics we process meet the ISO 14021 definition of post-consumer plastics. We cover a broad array of plastics: polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and... hard-to-recycle films. There is no burning, gasification, nor incineration which all occur in the presence of oxygen and at much higher temperatures of 1,800 to 2,700 F (980 to 1,500 C). Some mistakenly equate advanced recycling to incineration. Besides being 3-4 times hotter, incineration requires oxygen, whereas our process has none. Actually, our process would fail with oxygen present, since it would not yield sellable circular outputs.

“America’s plastic makers look forward to working with Congress on comprehensive solutions to address plastic in the environment while driving new economic growth here in the U.S. – an important “win-win” that is achievable with the right policies, support, and dedication.

“We hope members of Congress will pass legislation so the U.S. can be a model for plastics circularity for the rest of the world.”

American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division

The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division represents America’s Plastic MakersSM and the half million+ scientists, engineers, technicians, and other innovators who make plastics for many essential and lifesaving products that are vital to modern life. America’s Plastic Makers continue to embrace change. We’re linking innovation with sustainability, deploying next generation technologies to make plastics lighter, stronger, more efficient and more recyclable, so we can meet our goal for 100% of U.S. plastic packaging to be reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040. We’re making sustainable change to help build a cleaner, safer, more sustainable future for generations to come. 

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.

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features, and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions