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GAIA Report States Chemical Recycling Industry Gaining Limited Traction So Far

August 03, 2020 / E.A. Crunden

A new report from the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) pushes back on growing discussions around "chemical recycling" or processing strategies supported by the plastics industry. Entitled "All Talk and No Recycling: An Investigation of the U.S. 'Chemical Recycling' Industry," the report states the U.S. chemical recycling sector largely consists of plastic-to-fuel (PTF) operations rather than plastic-to-plastic (PTP) efforts. Some recycling stakeholders — including plastics groups — have cited chemical recycling as a key effort meant to operate in tandem with traditional mechanical recycling. Environmental groups and some nonprofit recyclers, however, said the practice harms human health and the environment. The facilities have also been slow to come to fruition and fulfill their promises, according to critics.