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  • Press Release

Michigan Becomes 21st State to Enact Bipartisan Advanced Recycling Legislation

Matthew Kastner

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.

Joshua Baca, ACC's Vice President of Plastics
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.

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.

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