As AFPM participates in the United Nations negotiations of a global agreement on plastic pollution in Kenya, the association released the following statement addressing criticisms of recycling and calls for production restrictions on polymers.
“AFPM supports building a circular economy for plastics and keeping plastic waste out of the environment. Plastic products have tremendous value and benefits—they’re more affordable and versatile than alternatives, have lower GHG emissions profiles, and require less water and raw materials to make. It’s essential, though, that these products be re-used, recycled and recovered correctly.
“AFPM members are heavily invested in both mechanical and advanced recycling, the latter of which is especially important to increasing the universe of recyclable products and overall recycling rates. Our members are also helping to build out better systems for collecting post-consumer plastics because access to sufficient, quality feedstocks is critical for scaling advanced recycling operations. Corporate customers are asking for more recycled-content packaging and materials. But for petrochemical manufacturers and recyclers to meet this demand, there needs to be confidence that additional investments will not be stranded because of bad policy and regulation.
“Arbitrary production caps, bans and restrictions on polymers regardless of their applications across essential technologies, would create a slew of problems for the global supply chain and consumers. While AFPM members work to increase recycled content, it is consumer demand that should always guide production.
“AFPM is committed to working with policymakers, companies up and down the plastic value chain, and other stakeholders to develop a global agreement that helps end plastic pollution, unlocks innovation and accelerates a global transition to a circular economy. If waste is recyclable, properly managed and kept out of the environment, the goals of the proposed UN agreement will be met.”
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.