September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and 21 other associations delivered a letter today to leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate expressing concerns about the proposed inclusion of a 20 cent per pound tax on virgin plastic resin in the budget reconciliation package.

Specifically, the letter raises concerns about raising costs of everyday goods on those American consumers who can afford it least, reduced U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, and lack of meaningful solutions to address plastic waste associated with the proposed tax. Additionally, there has been a lack of expert analysis, public debate, and other considerations associated with the regular legislative process, but not included in the “fast track” reconciliation process.

This latest correspondence follows a similar letter sent to Congress earlier this month from 38 CEOs representing America’s plastic makers and the plastics value chain.

The full text of the letter from associations is available below.

Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy,

As organizations representing manufacturers and users of plastic products and packaging as well as parts of the entire value chain, we are writing today to express our concerns about the proposed inclusion of a 20 cent per pound tax on virgin plastic resin in the budget reconciliation package.

Each of our organizations strongly support the use of recycled plastic and understand the motivation behind efforts to encourage its use. However, a tax on virgin resin will have a wide range of negative consequences: reduced manufacturing competitiveness, inflationary pressure, lost jobs to China and billions of dollars in increased costs to consumers. A resin tax would violate the President’s pledge not to tax Americans making less than $400,000. Taxing the production of virgin plastic would do little to increase access to recycling, improve the collection and sortation process, educate consumers or take other equally meaningful steps to limit plastic waste in the environment.

Our respective industry commitments to sustainability include goals of using less material and working to reduce our overall environmental footprints. We stand ready to continue conversations with Congress to advance these goals, but don’t believe a tax of this sort moving through the process in this manner is the right approach. This resin tax proposal having first been introduced only weeks ago has not been fully vetted. No witnesses have been called to provide expert analysis by either side in the public setting of a committee hearing. There has been no opportunity to study the economic impacts of a tax of this size nor how such a measure would viably be applied.

Early analysis paints a bleak picture: one industry estimate concludes the resin tax will place 92,000 American jobs at risk and increase the cost of plastic resin by up to 26 percent. On top of the direct impact on the cost of resin, the complexities of implementing such a tax would place an enormous burden and cost on manufacturers and users of plastic products trying to comply.

We welcome an opportunity to be part of the conversation on this important topic and look forward to working with Congress to pursue real solutions that increases the production and use of recycled plastic. But at this time, a resin tax of this size and scope is something that must be opposed, and we respectfully encourage you to set it aside from further discussions related to the budget reconciliation package.


American Chemistry Council

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers

American Petroleum Institute

Chemical Fabrics and Film Association

Communications Cable & Connectivity Association 

Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association

Flexible Packaging Association

Foodservice Packaging Institute

International Sleep Products Association

Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors

Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association

National Association for PET Container Resources

National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Association of Manufacturers

Plastic Pipe Institute

Plastics Industry Association

Plumbing Manufacturers International

Polyurethane Foam Association

PRINTING United Alliance

Produce Marketing Association

Single Ply Roofing Industry

Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association

Vinyl Institute

CC: All Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives 

About Plastics Industry Association

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $395 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability. To learn more about PLASTICS’ education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, networking opportunities and policy advocacy and the largest plastics trade show in the Americas, NPE: The Plastics Show. Visit Connect with PLASTICS on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

About the American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people’s lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $486 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation’s economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.