West Virginia passes advanced recycling bill for plastic waste, becoming 17th US state to do so; law regulates advanced recycling technologies as manufacturing and not as solid waste disposal

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WASHINGTON , April 1, 2022 (press release) –

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Yesterday West Virginia’s Governor James Justice signed H.B. 4084 into law, helping enable a new way to recycle more plastics.

The law was passed unanimously in both the House of Delegates and the Senate, making West Virginia the 17th state to enact legislation that recognizes the important benefits of advanced plastics recycling technologies. The new law will help attract advanced recycling to West Virginia by appropriately regulating these technologies as manufacturing and not as solid waste disposal.

H.B. 4084 has the potential to create high quality jobs in the state and benefit the environment by diverting used plastics from landfills to be remade into new products.

Advanced recycling is a manufacturing process that leverages chemistry to convert used plastic into top-quality new plastics. Through these modern technologies, many more types of plastics can be recycled compared to traditional recycling. Even those with food residue can be remade into new plastics approved for food, pharmaceutical and medical use. A 2021 report by Closed Loop Partners estimates advanced recycling could double the plastics packaging recycling rate by 2030.

“West Virginia's unanimous, bipartisan vote shows that advanced recycling is the path toward a circular economy for plastics in which new plastics are remade from used plastics again and again,” said Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council (ACC). “Advanced recycling reduces the need for fossil raw materials, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can bring good jobs to the state. In short, it is a win for the environment, business and West Virginia.”

“H.B. 4084 is the perfect example of common-sense policy made possible by bipartisanship,” said Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association. “This legislation has the potential to bring jobs and tax revenue to West Virginia while increasing the amount of plastic that is recycled instead of landfilled.”

ACC applauds Governor Justice and West Virginia’s lawmakers for promoting jobs and contributing to sustainability in the state.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy. 

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