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U.S. plastic makers call for transparent certification process for advanced recycled material

Bales of plastic stacked outside with snow on the ground
Having credible, third-party standards and a transparent certification process will play an integral role towards achieving a circular economy for plastics.

America's plastic makers have called for policymakers, plastic converters, and brand companies to increase the adoption of a credible system to verify the recycled plastic produced by advanced recycling technologies and used in new products and packaging. Having credible, third-party standards and a transparent certification process will play an integral role towards achieving a circular economy for plastics.

"Transparent and trustworthy third-party standards are important in every step taken to increase plastic recycling," said Joshua Baca, ACC's vice president of plastics. "These standards will make it easier for brand companies and manufacturers to use more recycled plastic in their products, give them confidence in communicating with consumers, and help create and sustain demand for recycled plastic. All of these components will help meet the recycling goals set by America's plastic makers as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

One of the most widely accepted certification processes used today is known as mass balance. Mass balance is used to track sustainability measures in a variety of other industries, including coffee, cocoa, forestry, and renewable energy.

To encourage wider adoption of this approach, ACC released an updated version of its mass balance principles for advanced recycling.

Consistent use of third-party certification standards is important for achieving 30 percent recycled plastic in plastic packaging by 2030, the first action in plastic makers' 5 Actions for Sustainable Change released earlier this year. The 5 Actions are concrete steps Congress should take to accelerate the growth of plastic recycling in the United States. 

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