Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Burning Plastic No Answer

Less than 10% of U.S. plastic waste is recycled annually.

 The American Chemistry Council (ACC), an industry group is seeking to "change existing law so that plastics incinerators can operate without meeting the environmental and health protections of the Clean Air Act."

"Removing existing Clean Air Act limitations on burning plastic will allow chemical manufacturers to produce and release these toxic chemicals into our communities without limitation."

"Under the guise of offering a solution to the global plastic waste crisis, the American Chemistry Council has invented an Orwellian new name for decades-old incineration technologies," the signers stated. "It seeks to rebrand pyrolysis and gasification incinerators as 'advanced recycling,' even though there is nothing advanced about them and nothing gets recycled." 

"In reality, the plastic trash that enters pyrolysis and gasification incinerators gets burned, creating dioxins and other harmful air pollution. What's left is toxic chemical waste that gets burned again later at hazardous waste disposal facilities or as a dirty fuel. Far from 'recycling' the plastic waste they get paid to accept, gasification and pyrolysis incinerators are turning plastic into highly toxic air pollutants and generating hundreds of thousands of pounds of hazardous waste."

"Plastic contains hundreds of toxic chemicals, including heavy metals, phthalates, flame retardants, bisphenol A, and PFAS. The process of burning plastic via pyrolysis and gasification generates even more toxic pollution, including chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other serious health harms. Emissions include dioxins, benzene, cadmium, arsenic, lead, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and mercury."

"Changing the legal definition of incineration or waste so that chemical companies can burn plastic in poor and minority communities without controlling the toxic pollution they emit is environmental injustice at its worst." 

200+ Groups Decry 'Orwellian' Industry-Backed Plastic Burning Push (commondreams.org)

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