The U.S. Plastics Pact's focus on phasing out "problematic" plastics in packaging is drawing a strong pushback from resin makers, who see it as based more on ideology than science.
But leaders of the pact, which is made up of large consumer brands and retailers that are major users of plastics, say they see it as important to stop using materials with no clear path to recyclability.
The group on June 15 released a detailed road map for getting to its ambitious goals, which include a 50 percent U.S. plastics recycling rate and 30 percent recycled content by 2025.
Most of those goals were generally praised by industry groups, with the exception of the push to phase out hard-to-recycle plastics from packaging applications by 2025.
That idea raised sharp concerns with the American Chemistry Council and its resin supplier members.
"Elimination of certain types of plastics or bans do not increase plastics recycling," said Joshua Baca, ACC's vice president of plastics. "Hurriedly choosing winners and losers today also ignores the essential role plastic packaging plays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to other materials."
ACC said it welcomed the broad goals of the pact. But Baca said the pact should be "transparent, data-driven and make recommendations based on science and engineering, rather than ideology, when it comes to efforts to 'phase out problematic plastic.'"
Without that, ACC said, there could be unintended environmental consequences in shifting away from plastics.