WASHINGTON—Arguments over how to regulate chemical recycling are heating up in Congress, with 25 Democratic lawmakers urging the Environmental Protection Agency to take a skeptical approach toward the technology.
The lawmakers, led by California Reps. Jared Huffman and Alan Lowenthal, sent a letter in recent days urging the House committee that controls EPA spending to make it clear that Congress wants the agency to limit chemical recycling.
The American Chemistry Council, however, said the letter mischaracterizes advanced recycling technology, as ACC refers to it, and the regulatory approach that's needed.
"Characterizing advanced recycling as 'waste combustion' or 'burning plastics' is scientifically inaccurate and distracts from the real and significant progress being made," said Joshua Baca, ACC's vice president of plastics. "The seven commercial-scale advanced recycling facilities, plus those leveraging existing chemical manufacturing infrastructure to make virgin-quality plastic from used plastics in the U.S., are just the beginning of a massive wave of new projects."
The letter from the lawmakers will not have a direct impact on regulations, and it's far from certain it will ultimately be part of the federal budget, even in a Democratic Congress.
But supporters say it points to stepped up interest on Capitol Hill.