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PLASTICS' Government Affairs
Full Versions of The Hopper is only available to PLASTICS members.

Congress Turning Eye More and More to Plastics

John Grant, Director, Government Affairs

The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently introduced and began hearings on the CLEAN Future Act, the majority’s bill to address climate change. Unfortunately, the initial committee language includes some of the more concerning aspects of last year’s Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, including a moratorium on new permits for plastic manufacturing facilities, which encompasses advanced recycling facilities. The “pause” in permits would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  to write and impose more stringent rules regulating plastic facilities. PLASTICS strongly opposes this provision and more broadly incorporating plastic into the climate package overall. PLASTICS staff have been working with coalition partners and members to educate legislative staff and committee members why this is the wrong approach, particularly in climate legislation. Additional concerning provisions, as they are currently written in the waste section, include a recycling content mandate on plastic bottles to reach 80% required content by 2040, an extended producer task force to consider an EPR program at the national level and the creation of national labeling standards for recycling.  

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Both Coasts are Hoping That Recycled Content Mandates Will Spur Demand, But Something is Missing

Brennan Georgianni, Manager, State Government Affairs

We constantly hear the argument that mandating plastic packaging be manufactured with recycled material will spur demand and cause more material to be funneled into the recycling stream. It has been passed for bottles in California, but now Washington and New Jersey are considering a similar policy for other rigid packaging types like household cleaning and personal care products. But one very important element is missing in these proposals: any serious infrastructure investment. This is particularly important as the miniscule recycling rates  of today are much lower than the rates needed to meet these mandates.

Help Us Show that Diversity and Inclusion are Important to the Plastics Industry

Suzanne Morgan, Senior Director, Government Affairs & Grassroots Advocacy

One of the four elements of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan (BBB), as reported in the February edition of The Hopper, is diversity and inclusion in the workplace. After early interactions between PLASTICS government affairs staff and Biden Administration officials and congressional Democrats, it is clear to us that a worker-centered framework is being woven through presidential initiatives, executive orders and Democratic legislative proposals. We see the diversity in the Biden cabinet and among other presidential appointees. We hear about the need for “racial equity” and inclusivity in wages and opportunities in the workplace and how environmental injustice has impacted communities. We have been challenged by Biden Administration officials to come prepared to meetings with answers on how our industry is creating opportunities for all workers.

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