The head of the American Chemistry Council, Cal Dooley, is delaying his planned retirement for one year to help the group develop a strategy to reduce plastics waste.
The Washington-based association announced June 11 that Dooley, its president and CEO, would retire at the end of 2019, rather than at the end of this year as previously announced.
The group said its board of directors discussed the move at its annual board meeting June 4-6, where members said they agreed that the chemicals and plastics industry "must take a global leadership role to reduce and eliminate plastic waste."
"As ACC members embark on an effort to reduce and eliminate plastic waste in the years to come, the ACC officers felt strongly that Cal's experience and leadership were essential to aligning the global industry around a coordinated strategy," said Bob Patel, ACC Chairman and CEO of LyondellBasell Industries. "With a little arm twisting and agreement from his gracious wife Linda, we were able to convince Cal to stay on to lead the development of this critical effort."
While the ACC statement did not provide more details on the group's strategy, Dooley said plastic waste "is an issue of personal, as well as professional interest, and I am excited to help lay the foundation for a sustained, global industry effort to address it."
"The global chemicals and plastics industry has an imperative to fight the spread of mismanaged plastic waste that is increasingly littering our rivers, oceans and landscapes," Dooley said. "While plastic products provide countless health, safety, lifestyle and sustainability benefits, those benefits cannot be fully realized unless we take swift and aggressive actions to make the most of all resources and leverage technology to dramatically increase rates of reuse, recycling and recovery of all plastic products."
The ACC's plastics division announced a commitment last month to reuse, recycle and recover 100 percent of plastic packaging by 2040, with interim goals by 2030.
Dooley's announcement comes just two days after a majority of G7 nations agreed on a plastics charter to clean up ocean pollution at their June 9 summit in Canada.