Arkansas becomes 13th state to enact ‘advanced recycling’ legislation

Author: Janet Miranda

2021/05/04

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Arkansas has become the 13th US state to enact legislation to enable greater adoption of chemical recycling, described in the legislation as advanced recycling, to help end plastic waste.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) welcomed the signing of the law by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and added that the law will save plastics destined for landfill to be recycled.

The new legislation will help create local demand for recycling programs and recycling centres to turn hard-to-recycle plastics thrown in landfills into new materials.

In Arkansas, this could save about 280,000 tons of plastics from landfills each year.

The chemical recycling of 25% of recoverable plastics could generate about $149m in economic output each year for the state, according to the ACC.

The passage of HB 1944 helps position Arkansas as a leader in helping to end plastic waste, said Joshua Baca, ACC’s vice president of plastics.

The law defines advanced plastic recycling as a process that is not used for incineration or material combustion but for material recovery rather than energy recovery.

Like in the Arizona legislation recently enacted, the bill does not use the term “chemical recycling” which refers to the variety of methods that use different production routes to create a new material from waste.

“The regulatory framework supported in HB 1944 is just one set of regulations that advanced recycling facilities must follow to operate,” said Bacca.

Arkansas is the fourth state this year to adopt recycling legislation.

Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona have passed similar legislation to promote advanced recycling.