Two US states pass supportive chemical recycling legislation

Author: Emily Friedman


HOUSTON (ICIS)--New Hampshire and Missouri have passed legislation supporting chemical recycling, bringing the total number of states with similar legislation to 20, with six bills having been passed since the start of 2022.


Under New Hampshire Senate Bill 367 and Missouri House Bill 2485, the legal definitions of chemical recycling processes such as pyrolysis, solvolysis and depolymerisation will be amended to no longer be categorised under “disposal” and “solid waste management facility”.

This would mean the investment, construction and running of chemical recycling facilities covered under these laws could grant them funding, taxation or environmental regulation as a recycling facility rather than as a waste to fuel or disposal facility.

Moreover, adopting the legal definition of recycling opens the door for chemically recycled material to be used in future post-consumer recycled (PCR) content mandates or as marketable recycled material.

Many chemical recycling technologies have existed for years, although companies have only recently commissioned production units. Chemical recyclers estimate that it will take at least another seven to 10 years to reach true commercial scale. The bulk of the industry remains at pilot stage, with most prices being negotiated via tolling agreements.

While chemical recycling technology could provide complementary opportunities for plastic waste streams that are difficult to mechanically recycle, often chemical recycling facilities can utilise the same feedstocks as mechanical recyclers.

But as chemical recycling facilities continue to be announced, concerns are growing with respect to future feedstock supply.

Thumbnail shows chemically recycled plastic.