WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. plastics industry made the case for greater recycling infrastructure at the 2019 Plastics Industry Fly-In on March 27, an event where industry representatives from around the country gather on Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers.
In more than 100 meetings with members of Congress and their staffs, dozens of representatives from the United States’s third-largest manufacturing sector advocated for increased investment in the equipment, systems and other technologies that would enable the U.S. recycling industry to capture and recycle more plastic materials – a solution that they say would preserve the value of plastic products while addressing serious environmental challenges like litter and marine debris.
Headlining this year’s event was Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Andrew Wheeler. In his remarks to Fly-In attendees, Wheeler emphasized the Administration’s commitment to infrastructure reform that includes recycling and waste management.
“We all agree that we need to address marine litter, but we need to address it in an effective and precise manner,” said Wheeler.
“Plastics have revolutionized the way we live, often in ways we don’t even realize…to really solve this problem, we must stop the trash from reaching our oceans. This means improving waste management and recycling.”
“I don’t believe that we have to choose between plastics or clean oceans,” he added. “We can have both.”
The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has been leading an effort to rally support among all materials to modernize U.S. recycling and waste management infrastructure.
“With legislation forthcoming, the U.S. plastics industry is all-in for increasing our nation’s capacity to recycle plastic products that consumers rely on,” said PLASTICS interim president and CEO Patty Long.
“We need to ensure that waste disposal and recycling infrastructure are a part of the overall national conversation around investing in our country’s infrastructure. We look forward to working with public officials and other stakeholders across the country to focus our collective efforts on long-term solutions that enable the proper disposal and recycling of plastic products.”
While infrastructure reform was a key part of the plastics industry’s message, attendees at the Fly-In also advocated for other reforms including enacting open competition policies for plastic pipe on federal infrastructure projects, approaching trade and tariffs in a way that promotes global growth and developing the next generation of manufacturing workers.
In addition to PLASTICS, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA), the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI)and the Manufacturers Association for Plastic Processors (MAPP)also participated in this year’s Fly-In.