U.S. PLASTICS RESIN PRODUCERS SET CIRCULAR ECONOMY GOALS TO RECYCLE OR RECOVER 100% OF PLASTIC PACKAGING BY 2040

WASHINGTON (May 9, 2018)—The AMERICAN Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Plastics Division today announced three ambitious goals. They crystalize U.S. plastics resin producers’ commitment to recycling. In addition, they plan to recover all plastic packaging used in the United States by 2040. Moreover, to further enhance plastic pellet stewardship by 2022.

plastic bottles

Specifically, members of ACC’s Plastics Division have set the following goals for capturing, recycling, and recovering plastics:

To achieve 100% of plastics packaging is re-used, recycled or recovered by 2040, and 100% of plastics packaging is recyclable or recoverable by 2030.

The third goal is to reach 100% of the U.S. manufacturing sites operated by ACC’s Plastics Division members will participate in Operation Clean Sweep-Blue by 2020, with all of their manufacturing sites across North America involved by 2022.

“We are embracing the drive toward a circular economy for plastics. It helps demonstrate our overarching commitment to sustainable materials management,” said Steve Russell, ACC’s vice president of plastics. “In setting these goals, our industry is publicly affirming our vision of the future we want. That’s for safe, sanitary plastic packaging and our intention to get there quickly.”

“Together with our value chain partners, we intend to transition to increasingly circular systems for designing, manufacturing, recycling, and recovering our plastic packaging resources,” Russell said.

The Plan

To achieve these goals, producers plan to focus on six key areas: designing new products for greater efficiency, recycling and reuse; developing new technologies and systems for collecting, sorting, recycling, and recovering materials; making it easier for more consumers to participate in recycling and recovery programs; expanding the types of plastics collected and repurposed; aligning products with key end markets, and expanding awareness that used plastics are valuable resources awaiting their next use.

“Our industry has a long history of leading on stewardship initiatives. Such as Responsible Care®, and supporting recycling through research, technology, infrastructure, and education,” Rick Wagner, global sustainability manager at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company. “Today’s announcement marks the next step in this critical journey.

Moreover, “producers are accelerating their commitments by building new coalitions and forging new business models that will help optimize a range of environmental, economic and societal outcomes,” said Wagner. “Some of these involve turning used materials back into their basic building blocks so we can create new plastics.”

Source: The American Chemistry Council (ACC)

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