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  • Press Release

West Virginia Passes Advanced Recycling Law, Paves Way for Job Growth and Environmental Protection

Matthew Kastner

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 31, 2022) – Yesterday West Virginia’s Governor James Justice signed H.B. 4084 into law, helping enable a new way to recycle more plastics.

The law was passed unanimously in both the House of Delegates and the Senate, making West Virginia the 17th state to enact legislation that recognizes the important benefits of advanced plastics recycling technologies. The new law will help attract advanced recycling to West Virginia by appropriately regulating these technologies as manufacturing and not as solid waste disposal.

H.B. 4084 has the potential to create high quality jobs in the state and benefit the environment by diverting used plastics from landfills to be remade into new products.

Advanced recycling is a manufacturing process that leverages chemistry to convert used plastic into top-quality new plastics. Through these modern technologies, many more types of plastics can be recycled compared to traditional recycling. Even those with food residue can be remade into new plastics approved for food, pharmaceutical and medical use. A 2021 report by Closed Loop Partners estimates advanced recycling could double the plastics packaging recycling rate by 2030.

“West Virginia's unanimous, bipartisan vote shows that advanced recycling is the path toward a circular economy for plastics in which new plastics are remade from used plastics again and again,” said Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council (ACC). “Advanced recycling reduces the need for fossil raw materials, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can bring good jobs to the state. In short, it is a win for the environment, business and West Virginia.”

“H.B. 4084 is the perfect example of common-sense policy made possible by bipartisanship,” said Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association. “This legislation has the potential to bring jobs and tax revenue to West Virginia while increasing the amount of plastic that is recycled instead of landfilled.”

ACC applauds Governor Justice and West Virginia’s lawmakers for promoting jobs and contributing to sustainability in the state.

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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