Plastics Champions Visit Capitol Hill Virtually

June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Over the past week, employers from across America within the plastics industry met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill during the 2021 Plastics Industry Virtual Fly-In. Representatives from 45 plastics companies joined 65 video calls with federal lawmakers and their staff. The plastics industry is the 8th largest in America and supports over one million U.S. jobs and a half-trillion dollars in domestic economic value. The annual fly-in bridges the gap between local employers from the industry and elected officials in Washington on a wide range of policy issues.

“The PLASTICS annual fly-in is a great opportunity for members of our industry to share the value of plastics with their elected officials in Washington,” said Matt Seaholm, PLASTICS Vice President of Government Affairs. “Our fly-in was virtual this year due to COVID-19, but that served as a reminder of how critical plastic products have been in getting us through the pandemic. From medical equipment and PPE to safe delivery of our nation’s food supply, plastic played an essential role in our everyday lives over the past year.”

In addition to emphasizing the wide-ranging economic and medical benefits of plastic, industry representatives made clear their legislative priorities as various bills make their way through Congress. The message to lawmakers was to support plastic sustainability and oppose wide-ranging product bans that could have harmful unintended consequences.

“The PLASTICS fly-in is a key step in creating long-term relationships with legislators and policymakers that can benefit my company and our industry for years to come,” said Terry Grill, Sustainability Director – Americas at Sealed Air. “There are some really consequential issues being considered in Congress and the opportunity to communicate the significance of plastic directly to lawmakers in Washington has never been more important.”

PLASTICS has long been involved in promoting efforts such as advanced recycling, improving traditional mechanical recycling, bioplastics, and repurposing of plastics as fuel. Support for enhancing America’s recycling infrastructure has bipartisan support in Congress and from the Biden Administration. The plastics industry has also been engaged in efforts to increase funding for recycling programs by supporting bills like the bipartisan RECOVER Act and other legislation to invest in recycling technologies. This approach is in stark contrast to highly-partisan legislation that would threaten millions of American manufacturing jobs and could potentially increase greenhouse gas emissions.