Michigan Becomes 21st State to Enact Bipartisan Advanced Recycling Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC (December 22, 2022) — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed bipartisan legislation that will help ensure more plastics are recycled and again, while attracting new jobs and economic opportunities to the state.
The new law in Michigan brings to 21 the total number of states that recognize advanced recycling technologies as manufacturing and not waste disposal.
Advanced recycling is a manufacturing process that uses chemistry to convert used plastics into raw material to remake high quality new plastics. These processes help displace reliance on virgin raw materials and contribute to a circular economy for plastics
Regulating advanced recycling technologies as manufacturing operations, as more and more states are doing, will encourage investments in new advanced recycling facilities and manufacturing careers in the state, while contributing to a more sustainable Michigan. It will also establish that these new innovative technologies are classified appropriately so they are regulated with the proper standards and not as solid waste incineration.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle recognize the multiple benefits of accelerating advanced recycling technologies to help make the United States the global leader in developing a circular economy for plastics. Advanced recycling diverts plastics from landfills, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and use of natural resources to create new plastics compared to conventional manufacturing methods, and creates new jobs and revenue streams. This new legislation can showcase Michigan’s leadership in plastics recycling.
Advanced recycling technologies enable significantly more plastics to be recycled than traditional recycling technologies, including often hard-to-recycle films and mixed plastics. These technologies can also create like-new plastics approved for food, pharmaceutical, and medical uses, among other things. A 2021 report by Closed Loop Partners estimated that advanced recycling could double the plastics packaging recycling rate in the U.S. and Canada by 2030.
ACC applauds Michigan’s state legislators and governor for recognizing the power of advanced recycling and for passing this important legislation.