We could hear you, you know. Or at least I can imagine I heard a collective groan when Plastics News published a story Oct. 31 on a new study from Beyond Plastics and the International Pollutants Elimination Network questioning the viability of chemical recycling.
The issue of contention, I expect, is along the lines of: Why give attention to these groups that are trying to eliminate plastics?
Obviously, it's news. Beyond Plastics and IPEN are known in public policy circles. (As we've often noted, Beyond Plastics' leader Judith Enck was an official with the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama.) PN Editor Don Loepp noted there were reporters attending a virtual press conference on the report from non-industry publications.
In addition, chemical recycling is a hot topic in a lot of regions beyond Washington, D.C., so the report will likely be referenced at state legislatures.
It's also notable that Lew Freeman, who was once the second-highest ranking person at the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. — now the Plastics Industry Association — wrote the report's foreword, casting doubt on chemical recycling's ability to deliver on some big promises by industry leaders.
Even if you don't agree with the statements or studies from environmental groups such as Beyond Plastics, you should be familiar with them in case they come up in the future. Think of it as "opposition research" if nothing else.