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  • Press Release

Plastics Legislation Would Export American Jobs and Hurt Consumers and the Environment

Legislation on Plastics Should Leverage American Innovation

Andrea Albersheim

WASHINGTON, DC (October 25, 2023) – Today Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Rep. Jared Huffman (Calif.) introduced the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act (BFFPPA). The following statement may be attributed to Ross Eisenberg, president of America’s Plastic Makers™:

Congress, America’s plastic makers, and the public agree that plastic waste should never be in our environment. Unfortunately, the legislation introduced today would do little to eliminate plastic pollution while doing a lot to damage the U.S. economy.

The latest version of the BFFPPA is even more extreme than previous versions that failed legislatively. Its purpose is not to address plastic pollution. It is intended to shutdown domestic plastic manufacturing, prevent the American public from using a wide range of everyday plastics, provide a fundraising platform for anti-plastic organizations, and vilify a material essential to a more sustainable and lower carbon future. We cannot “break free” from the very materials that help us drive down greenhouse gas emissions throughout critical sectors of our economy.

If BFFPPA became law, the consequences would be felt by citizens across America. The three largest impacts would be:

  1. The export of well-paid domestic manufacturing careers, mostly to China.
  2. Additional costs on American consumers for a multitude of necessities, from food to clothing.
  3. Increased climate warming emissions by restricting recycling technologies that reduce carbon emissions as recently underscored by the Department of Energy’s own Argonne National Laboratory; and by shifting plastic manufacturing to countries with less stringent environmental standards.  

There is a better way to meaningfully tackle plastic pollution that also bolsters domestic manufacturing. ACC continues to work with Members of Congress to introduce legislation aligned with our 5 Actions for Sustainable Change. Such legislation would require U.S. packaging to have at least 30% recycled plastic by 2030, would appropriately regulate innovative recycling technologies, and develop minimum requirements and standards for recycling around the country, among other components.

America has an opportunity to lead the globe in transitioning to a circular economy where new plastics are made from used plastics. We will continue to advocate practical and comprehensive policy that will create a more sustainable future, help eliminate plastic pollution and support American manufacturing jobs.

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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