WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) released the following statement on the General Services Administration’s (GSA) final rule calling for the reduction of single-use plastic packaging on federally supplied or purchased products.

“AFPM, ACC and PLASTICS members work to sustainably manufacture the petrochemicals, derivatives for plastics and plastics that deliver safe, essential products to Americans. Our members are committed to developing thoughtful, risk- and science-based policies to address environmental issues including the complex plastic waste challenge.

“The misguided final rule from the General Services Administration (GSA) on single-use plastic packaging in federal procurement made considerable improvements when compared with initial proposals, however we are concerned how it suggests that eliminating plastics will be better for the environment in all scenarios – which is fundamentally false. A McKinsey analysis of plastic and its alternatives showed plastic was better for the environment in 13 out of 14 common applications.

“In the rule, GSA recognizes how the 'industry is pivoting,' designing products for better recycling and improving the recycling infrastructure. GSA’s ruling also acknowledges the essential benefits of plastics and how they provide safer access to food and health products. However, the new mark system does not convey those benefits to purchasers.

“Given GSA’s considerable procurement power we believe that instead of targeting plastics or any other material for elimination or reduction from government contracts, GSA’s goals and consumers’ needs would be better addressed by implementing material-neutral criteria that supports and encourages a more circular economy. Such an approach would use the GSA’s substantial influence to promote recyclability of all packaging and products instead of vilifying plastic products for reduction or elimination based on faulty assumptions.”

Media Contact:
Rachel Farbman
About AFPM Editorial:

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is the leading trade association representing the makers of the fuels that keep us moving, the petrochemicals that are the essential building blocks for modern life, and the midstream companies that get our feedstocks and products where they need to go. We make the products that make life better, safer and more sustainable — we make progress.