The flurry of activity from the White House on day one of the Biden administration stressed work on the government response to the coronavirus pandemic, but action is also on the way for an environmental agenda.
One of the first actions taken by Biden following the inauguration was to sign an executive order to rejoin the Paris climate agreement. The American Chemistry Council issued a statement in support of that move, noting that plastics and other chemical products can play a big role in addressing climate change.
“The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and its members welcome President Biden’s executive decision to rejoin the Paris agreement. America’s chemical and plastics manufacturers ... support meaningful efforts to reduce emissions for the health of our planet and future generations," ACC wrote. “In order for the opportunities afforded by the Paris agreement to be fully realized the Administration, Congress and the private sector must work together to develop and implement a national, comprehensive, market-based system to drive emissions reductions."
Plastics and recycling groups have been working to shore up support for investment into recycling infrastructure. The Environmental Protection Agency already pledged to hit a recycling rate of 50 percent by 2030, but without specifics on how to do it. One effort that Steve Toloken is following (with a story to come for PN shortly) calls for financial support for secondary material recovery facilities that could capture more plastics.
“We believe the EPA could play an important role in funding development of these new technologies by demonstrating a workable supply chain, prompting subsequent private investment development,” the National Association for PET Container Resources told the EPA in formal comments in December. “This would involve government study and pilot development in a secondary ‘sorting/process facility’ designed to provide feedstock to enhanced recycling facilities or traditional mechanical reclaimers.”