Well, the General Services Administration (GSA) asked for it. The agency that procures various goods and services for the federal government solicited public feedback when it issued advance notice of its intention to reduce plastic use in July. Now the Plastics Industry Council (PLASTICS) and a notice from the American Chemical Society (ACC). Both organizations have submitted comments to the GSA highlighting the negative environmental impacts and increased costs to taxpayers caused by banning the procurement of single-use plastics.

In summary, GSA said: Prior Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Published in Federal Gazette On July 7, 2022, we announced that we are seeking public feedback “regarding the use of plastics consumed in both packaging and shipping, and other single-use plastics contracted by our distributors.” The initiative is based on an executive order signed by President Biden calling for “strong climate action.”

In its comments, the ACC pointed to unintended consequences of the proposal, including increased greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of material sent to landfills. Several studies (the most recent one by McKinsey & Co.) suggest that plastics have a greater impact on greenhouse gas emissions than most alternative materials, given comprehensive life cycle analyses. shown to be less. ACA’s comments also point to the role of plastic packaging in protecting and preserving food, thus reducing food waste.

This initiative also increases federal costs. In its comments, PLASTICS gives many examples of the potential rule’s impact on consumers, businesses and the broader economy. “This proposal… will cost taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Matt Seaholm, president and CEO of Plastics, in a news release announcing the submission of comments.

Both organizations emphasized their willingness to work with the Biden administration to find effective, science-based ways to build a circular economy.

“Our industry is investing billions of dollars to recycle more plastic waste in the United States,” said Seeholm. “We welcome the opportunity to work with governments to develop effective recycling he solutions that reduce plastic waste through smart investments in infrastructure, technology and education.”

Members of the ACC’s Plastics Division have set goals to reuse, recycle, or recover all plastic packaging in the United States by 2040 and to make all plastic packaging in the United States recyclable or recoverable by 2030. He said he was one of the first members to set it up. Industry, manufacturers, brands, retailers, recyclers, waste haulers, as well as citizens, communities, non-profit organizations, academics, federal, state and local governments will work together to achieve our goals. , should support policies and programs to increase environmental protection. It will improve supply and demand for recycled materials, creating the circular economy we all want,” he said.

In the view of these organizations, the GSA’s proposed rule does not lead us there.

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