With the results of the presidential and congressional elections still unknown as of Nov. 4, the political impact for the plastics industry remains in the same limbo.
The uncertainty over control of Washington means that the future direction of plastics recycling and waste legislation — the issue that industry lobbyists focused most on in 2020 — also remains cloudy.
Industry executives are watching most closely to see if Democrat Joe Biden wins the presidency and his party takes the Senate, arguing that would give a major boost to legislation they oppose, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, or lead to other significant restrictions on industry.
A recent analysis from research firm BloombergNEF predicted big differences between Biden and Donald Trump presidencies over plastics recycling tied to that bill.
BloombergNEF suggested a Biden administration would be sympathetic to the goals of the Break Free legislation and if enacted it would push the plastics recycling rate from under 10 percent currently to 41 percent by 2050.
It contrasted that with a second term for President Trump, predicting it would largely maintain the status quo when it came to federal government policies. As a result the plastics recycling rate would only rise to 25 percent by 2050.