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  • Press Release

ACC Statement on PlastChem Report on Plastic Additives

Matthew Kastner

WASHINGTON (March 14, 2024) — Today the PlastChem project released a report on additives used in plastics. The following statement may be attributed to Dr. Kimberly Wise White PhD, Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs for the American Chemistry Council (ACC):

“Plastic additives provide many important benefits that enhance the function and durability of plastic products, enabling us to do more with less. Additives extend the life of wind turbines exposed to the elements, improve packaging to prevent food from spoiling, save energy by lightweighting products, stabilize plastics used in healthcare so they can be sterilized, and account for many other characteristics of plastic products that contribute to a healthier and more sustainable world.

“We are encouraged that today’s report emphasizes the need for greater transparency around the use of plastic additives and potential health risks. The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) supports these efforts and is already developing an additives database and risk assessment framework to provide critical information to regulators around the globe to help them make informed chemical management decisions. Once complete, this database will provide risk-based information and much greater transparency on additives in plastics.

“Unfortunately, today’s report seeks to advance a hazard framework that ignores real-world exposures and paints an incomplete picture for regulators and the public. This contrasts with risk assessments, used to underpin the most effective chemical management laws. The report’s recommendation to regulate plastic additives using a hazard-based approach undermines the stated purpose of the report to use an ‘evidence-based path forward.’  

“The report also disregards the significant work underway to increase governments’ chemical management capacities, as was recently agreed to via the newly adopted Global Framework on Chemicals (GFC). Under the GFC, countries work towards implementing legal frameworks to evaluate chemicals in a holistic manner, taking into consideration all uses of a chemical, not just their use as plastic additives. The global chemical industry has committed to supporting the buildout of chemical management capacity in 30 countries by 2030 where chemical management regulations do not yet exist.

“Plastic and chemical makers around the globe are committed to ongoing innovations in products and processes that enable people to live more safely and sustainably.”  

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.