Midwest gets manufacturing boost – Recycling Today


The US Plastics Pact, Asheville, NC, has released its “Problematic and Unnecessary Materials List”. The list identifies 11 items that are currently not reusable, recyclable, or compostable on a large scale in the United States and are not expected to be kept in a closed loop in practice and on a large scale by 2025.

The organization says the list was developed by members of the US Plastics Pact — more than 100 companies, nonprofits, and government organizations, or “activators,” who seek to develop guidance on circular alternatives to eliminate waste. list items by 2025.

The US Plastics Pact, or CPG, consumer packaged goods, retailer and converter activators produce 33% of plastic packaging in the United States by weight. In 2020, 66% of business enablers were developing individual plans and taking action to eliminate specific materials, sizes and components or to switch from non-recyclable packaging designs to recyclable packaging designs, according to the US Plastics Pact .

The US Plastic Pact’s “Problematic and Unnecessary Materials List” includes the following =:

  • cutlery provided with packaged prepared foods;
  • per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) added to packaging;
  • non-detectable pigments, such as carbon black;
  • opaque or pigmented polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (any color other than transparent blue or green);
  • oxo-degradable additives, including oxo-biodegradable additives;
  • PETG, or polyethylene terephthalate glycol, in rigid packaging;
  • problematic label constructions, including adhesives, inks and materials;
  • polystyrene, including expanded polystyrene, or EPS;
  • polyvinyl chloride, including polyvinylidene chloride;
  • on-the-go beverage stirrers; and,
  • straws provided with take-out drinks.

    The list applies exclusively to plastic packaging. Medical plastics used in clinical, hospital and related laboratory and research environments are not included. The definitions used in the criteria are taken from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Engagement Criteria, which provides the framework for the American Compact.

    “Eliminating these problematic and unnecessary materials will enable advances in circular packaging design, increase recovery opportunities and improve the quality of recycled content available to manufacturers,” said Emily Tipaldo, executive director of the pact.

    The pact says the materials on the list also addressed one or more of the following concerns:

  • contain hazardous chemicals or create hazardous conditions that pose a risk to human health or the environment during its manufacturing, recycling or composting process;
  • can be avoided (or replaced by a reuse model) while retaining utility;
  • hinder or interfere with the recyclability or compostability of other items; and
  • have a high probability of being discarded or ending up in the natural environment.

While the list was published with the help of Covenant members, some critics question the validity of the list and the identification process. According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, the list lacks a transparent, data-driven, science-based third-party approach and is instead rooted in ideology. The ACC also suggests that the list will do the opposite of its purpose.

“The list of plastics [the Pact] suggests being phased out by 2025 will only hinder the acceleration of a circular economy, slow progress towards a low-carbon future and reduce our ability to use greater amounts of recycled materials in packaging plastic,” said Joshua Baca, Vice President of Plastics for CCA.

According to the ACC, recent advances in recycling technology have made polystyrene one of the most recyclable plastics, and the infrastructure needed to recycle polystyrene products more widely is growing rapidly. Some of these technologies include advanced and mechanical recycling, dissolution and depolymerization. It is important to note that polystyrene is easily sortable and can be recycled on its own or as a feedstock for advanced recycling technologies (i.e. pyrolysis and depolymerization), together with polyethylene and polypropylene.

Bacca says the Pact’s recommendations are likely to increase food waste, promote multiple materials with a higher carbon footprint than plastics, and do little to meet plastics value chain sustainability goals. Goals include requiring all plastic packaging to contain at least 30% recycled plastic by 2030.

Instead, ACC says it hopes the two will partner to leverage ACC’s expertise and extensive work done to achieve a more circular economy for all materials by increasing growth. innovative recycling technologies.

However, the Pact says the stands with more than 100 participating companies, nonprofits and government organizations who worked together for a year to develop the list. The Covenant also states that the ACC was invited to join the organization but declined.

The organization also specifies that it lists here the sources used to collect its data.


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