In a press release published on March 25, 2020, industry association the American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced a set of principles applying a mass balance approach to support plastic recycling. The association writes that these principles are in line with the mass balance approach put forward by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 (CE100) Network, which published a white paper on enabling a circular economy for chemicals through such an approach.

The core principles include applying a standard that (i) utilizes a mass balance approach and traceability for credit accounting and product claims, (ii) allows attribution of credits to one or more end products within processing facilities and value chains, and (iii) uses third-party audits to certify and verify claims made.

“Plastics converters, brand owners and retailers will be able to use outputs from advanced plastic recycling technologies with added confidence by relying on these standards for supporting circular economy marketing claims,” said Craig Cookson from ACC. “The flow of molecules through the advanced recycling process and back into the production of plastics, chemicals and fuels should be tracked from start to finish in order to certify recycled content in end products.”

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ACC (March 25, 2020). “Mass Balance Certification Principles Will Support Plastic Recycling Growth and Accelerate Advanced Recycling Development.”


ACC (March 25, 2020). “American Chemistry Council’s Mass Balance Certification Principles for Advanced Recycling.” (pdf)

Ellen MacArthur Foundation (May 2019). “Enabling a circular economy for chemicals with the mass balance approach.” (pdf)