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Plastic politics are within the information. Three converging debates will form the way forward for plastic manufacturing and recycling: At the worldwide stage, the United Nations is negotiating the phrases of a worldwide plastics treaty, whereas within the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has launched a draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution and the Federal Trade Commission is engaged on updating its Green Guides, the foundations that govern the promoting of environmental and recycling claims. Dr. Anja Malawi Brandon, affiliate director of U.S. plastics coverage for the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy, returns to the present to debate the state of plastic packaging rules and extended producer responsibility legal guidelines.
Anja is an environmental engineer who helped draft landmark state and nationwide laws regulating plastic air pollution in recent times. She final appeared on the present to discuss unnecessary plastics in March 2022. She not too long ago authored Ocean Conservancy’s recommendations to the FTC about labeling plastics to point their recyclability. Anja summarized the difficult recycling data all of us battle with when she wrote, “Consumers shouldn’t want a Ph.D. in plastics to know what to do with their plastic packaging.”
Recyclability and compostability must be clarified phrases, and native companies, not nationwide guidelines, ought to decide the pure choices accessible to every of us. The Ocean Conservancy has known as for stricter regulation of plastic recyclability, recycled content material, compostability, and different environmental claims by the Federal Trade Commission when it updates the Green Guides. Like the European Union and Britain, which have launched way more stringent guidelines about sustainability claims, the FTC’s guidelines are anticipated to introduce penalties, reminiscent of bans on promoting and fines when firms make imprecise claims.
At the identical time, the plastic business is ramping up claims that it may well recycle extra plastic utilizing superior strategies — the chemical and molecular recycling approaches described throughout our latest interviews with Nexus Circular and Carbios; the business desires to “retain the societal advantages of plastics.” Economic and coverage tensions are rising as international, nationwide, and state leaders launch applications and insurance policies designed to curb using plastic, observe and regulate the delivery and recycling of plastic waste, and set up clear, useful labeling steering.
You can study extra concerning the Ocean Conservancy at oceanconservancy.org.