Chemical Recycling

Chemical Recycling: Another Attempt At Greenwashing By The Plastic Industry

We’ve known for a long time that so-called “chemical recycling” is a bogus answer since converting plastic into gasoline is not recycling.

Chemical Recycling
A bulldozer pushes a pile of trash in a pit at Recology on April 2, 2021 in San Francisco, California

Plastic manufacturers prefer to talk about “chemical recycling” plans including plastics-to-plastics, however there is inadequate proof that the technology might function safely and successfully. Finally, the petrochemical sector is promoting this greenwashed phrase in the belief that it would allow them to continue producing more single-use plastic garbage.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a new research outlining how so-called “chemical recycling” facilities in the United States create harmful air pollutants and significant amounts of toxic waste. This trash is either held on-site, endangering adjacent populations, or transferred somewhere to be burnt, primarily in low-income and minority neighborhoods. This is yet another example of economic injustice and environmental racism.

The entire process is really just multiple processes of burning plastic, emitting greenhouse gases and hazardous air pollution. Furthermore, despite industry claims, the bulk of facilities are plastic-to-fuel operations and are not capable of producing virgin-like feedstocks from mixed plastic waste.

So-called “chemical recycling” facilities represent a clear and present danger to public health, and the world nations must act now to safeguard people and the environment.

Reference- NRDC Report, EPA website, Break Free From Plastic Newsletter, Science Direct