U.S. plastics industry protests proposed ban on government purchases

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has filed comments with the US General Services Administration (GSA), in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking which could ban the purchase of single-use plastics by federal government agencies through the GSA. 

The association claims the new rule would have detrimental effects on consumers, businesses, the broader economy, and the environment.

“If this proposal moves forward, it will run directly counter to the administration’s environmental goals to reduce emissions,” said Matt Seaholm, president and CEO of the PLASTICS.

“This proposal would not only cost taxpayers millions and millions of dollars, it would force the use of products and materials that will have a much larger environmental footprint than the plastic products the administration would be looking to phase out.

“In the limited amount of time the GSA provided for public comment, PLASTICS compiled multiple examples of how plastics materials, in most applications, perform better from an economic and environmental perspective than other available materials. As the federal government outlines ambitions to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and build a circular, greener future, plastics are a crucial partner in getting there.”

Seaholm also said the industry is investing billions of dollars to recycle plastic waste in the U.S., and would welcome collaboration with the government to develop effective recycling solutions that reduce plastic waste through smart investments in infrastructure, technology, and education.

In August 2022, PLASTICS launched an educational campaign about the potential effects of a GSA ban on single-use plastics.

The Plastics Industry Association represent a million workers in the US$395 billion industry in the U.S.