Recommendations for a circular chemical economy

Paper in Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering analyzes sources of chemical losses throughout the chemical life cycle, suggests approaches to improve chemical circularity; losses include fugitive emissions in manufacturing, dissipation in field use, impurities and regulatory incompatibility interfering with recycling; propose two changes to chemical assessments to guide sustainable production and use

US considers new chemical recycling legislation

US states Oklahoma and Arizona pass bills to support chemical recycling facilities; at the same time, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers whether to include chemical recycling in national recycling calculations

Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act reintroduced in US

Updated version of bill continues to plan for nationwide extended producer responsibility scheme, minimum recycled content limits, deposit system, single-use plastic bans; new focus on promoting refillable containers, establishing three-year stop on construction of new plastic and chemical recycling facilities

BFFP: 13 key investments to combat plastic pollution

Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) recommends 13 key investments for US federal action; includes funding for multi re-use facility infrastructure, Environmental Protection Agency , research, government, and educational institutions; discourages further investments in chemical recycling, waste-to-energy/fuel technologies, carbon sequestration, downcycling, production, distribution and export of plastics

SusChem updates Sustainable Plastics Strategy Report

The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) publishes an updated version of sustainable plastics report; discuss challenges, scope, technical readiness, and impact; many projects still in the pilot or research stage

Report advocates for improving chemical recycling LCAs

Rethink Plastic Alliance reviewing four commonly cited life cycle assessments (LCAs) on chemical recycling; report identifies undisclosed data, flawed assumptions, questionable accounting methods; suggests LCAs should not be used for public communication or as the basis for political decision making or investment decisions, should be improved to be “more independent,” “transparent,” “comprehensive”

CHEMTrust report reviews chemical recycling technologies

Investigates technologies within three categories for plastic recycling; identifies concerns regarding substantial energy use, waste plastic input quality, presence of hazardous chemicals; recommends lack of data transparency be urgently addressed before further investments are made

US government and stakeholders debate how to improve recycling

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets target national recycling rate of 50% by 2030; stakeholders identify recycling data gaps as key limitation; call for new national standards and legislation improving reporting, use of recycled content; upcoming changes in government administration create uncertainty

Review on mechanical recycling of plastic packaging

Article in peer-reviewed journal provides thorough overview of mechanical recycling processes by polymer, discusses chemical additives used; concludes mechanical recycling will remain most effective method to recycle plastics

C&EN examines perspectives on chemical recycling

Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) article reports on significant investments being made across the plastics supply chain to scale up chemical recycling technologies, growing skepticism from critics not convinced of the technologies’ viability and unwilling to support expanded use of plastics