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  • Press Release

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

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Matthew Kastner
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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 (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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