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Ocean Conservancy backs chemical recycling oversight

Washington-based non-governmental group Ocean Conservancy says it’s working intently with greater than two dozen members of Congress to provoke a request to control plastic scrap handled with gasification and pyrolysis strategies – two types of chemical recycling applied sciences – as “municipal waste combustion models.”

The effort has already drawn the eye of the Washington-based American Chemistry Council (ACC), which expressed its opposition to the thought earlier this month.

Ocean Conservancy says it’s backing the transfer on the similar time “the plastics business mounts an aggressive lobbying marketing campaign to advertise these applied sciences as options to the ocean plastics disaster regardless of critical environmental and group penalties.”

The NGO says on April 29 Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) have been joined by 23 different members of Congress in sending a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies requesting the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate plastic scrap gasification and pyrolysis vegetation, citing a provision of the Clean Air Act.

“The reality is that proper now pyrolysis, gasification and different chemical recycling applied sciences are only a fancy approach to say, ‘burning plastics for power,’ and this merely isn’t suitable with a wholesome, plastic-free ocean,” says Dr. Anja Brandon, U.S. Plastics Policy Analyst at Ocean Conservancy.

Adds the coverage analyst and supplies science engineer, “Burning plastics emits greenhouse gases and numerous poisonous chemical substances and incentivizes business to proceed unfettered plastics manufacturing as a substitute of investing in a working recycling system. To maintain plastics out of our ocean, we have to make much less plastic, and higher recycle what we have already got; increasing chemical recycling will kill any likelihood we have now of engaging in both.”

The letter, despatched to Subcommittee Chair Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Ranking Member David Joyce (R-OH), said partially that “these chemical recycling applied sciences contribute to local weather change, trigger dangerous well being impacts within the surrounding communities, and don’t symbolize an answer to the plastic air pollution disaster. Chemical recycling doesn’t symbolize a viable path ahead to attaining a round financial system.”

Remarks Kathy Tsantiris, affiliate director of presidency relations at Ocean Conservancy, “This language nonetheless has a protracted approach to go, however the letter sends a transparent sign that regulating chemical recycling is a rising environmental precedence.”

In its reply to the request, the ACC portrays chemical recycling (which it additionally calls “superior recycling”) in a totally completely different gentle. The commerce group says there at present are “seven commercial-scale superior recycling amenities” and others “leveraging current chemical manufacturing infrastructure to make virgin-quality plastic from used plastics within the U.S.”

ACC calls it “just the start of a large wave of latest tasks” that may “cut back greenhouse fuel emissions 43 % relative to waste-to-energy incineration of plastic movies comprised of virgin-resources.”

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