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  • Press Release

Misguided Legislation Would Deliver a One-Two Punch Against American Workers and Environment

Would Prevent U.S. from Being Global Leader in Circularity and Innovation

Matthew Kastner

WASHINGTON, DC (December 1, 2022) — Today Sens. Booker and Merkley and Reps. Huffman and Lowenthal introduced a bill that would cripple U.S. plastic manufacturing. The following may be attributed to Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council (ACC):

“America’s plastic makers represent over 500,000 scientists, engineers, and problem solvers, who live in the communities where they work and are a quintessential example of American innovation tackling today’s greatest challenges.

“Plastic products are essential to a lower carbon and more sustainable future: wind turbines, solar panels, lightweight EVs, food packaging that prevents waste, building insulation, and pipes for clean water are just a few of them. We urgently need more of these products to address climate change.

“The ‘Protecting Communities from Plastics Act’ (PCPA) is a raw deal for America that would stall the acceleration of a circular economy for plastics currently underway. American jobs would be lost, billions of dollars of investments in new technology would be jeopardized, and the climate crisis would worsen as a switch to materials with a higher carbon footprint ensues.

“America’s plastic makers support solutions that won’t shut down domestic manufacturing. We have asked Congress to introduce legislation in line with our 5 Actions for Sustainable Change. These actions would require all U.S. plastic packaging to include at least 30% recycled plastic by 2030. Enable regulations to keep up with technological innovations in recycling. Develop national recycling standards. Establish producer responsibility systems to increase recycling access and collection. And have science inform policy by studying the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of all materials.

“Unfortunately, the PCPA is an assault on U.S. manufacturing that threatens every American’s way of life. If passed, it would:

  • Jeopardize hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect American careers.
  • Stall U.S. efforts to mitigate climate change and improve our infrastructure, just after Congress passed legislation to expedite these priorities.
  • Drive up costs of everyday products on consumers while handing the reins to other countries to cripple our supply chains.
  • Harm the global environment by shifting production overseas where plastics are often made with less rigorous worker protections and environmental standards.
  • Threaten technological innovations that are already transforming plastics recycling.

“ACC urges Congress not to be distracted by this harmful bill, and instead focus on plastics legislation that would strengthen the U.S. economy while reducing plastic waste.”

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.