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New Tools to Help Communities Assess Potential to Generate Fuels From Used Plastics

Plastics-to-Fuel Technologies Could Help Keep Valuable Plastics from Becoming Ocean Litter

WASHINGTON (June 8, 2015)—The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Ocean Recovery Alliance today introduced two new tools aimed at helping communities around the globe evaluate their potential to adopt plastics-to-fuel technologies. A growing number of experts believe that harnessing more of our non-recycled plastics to create valuable fuels and manufacturing feedstocks could help dramatically reduce ocean litter and deliver economic and environmental benefits to local communities.

The “2015 Plastics-to-Fuel Developers Guide” and “Cost Estimating Tool for Prospective Project Developers” were designed to help potential investors, developers and community leaders determine whether this rapidly growing family of technologies could be a good fit for meeting local waste management needs and local demand for the relevant commodities. Available at no cost, these tools provide for the first time an exploration of available commercial technologies, operational facilities, and things to consider when developing a business plan.

Also known as “pyrolysis,” today’s plastics-to-fuel technologies are versatile and can be designed to match local conditions. Depending on the specific technology chosen, they can manufacture a variety of products, including synthetic crude or refined fuels for home heating; ingredients for diesel, gasoline and kerosene; or fuel for combined heat and power for industrial uses.

“We are excited to introduce these new tools,” said Doug Woodring, director and co-founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance. “Sustainable materials management is largely a local issue, but one with important global implications. Our goal is to give communities and government leaders the tools they need to make good decisions that meet local needs. These new technologies can help mitigate the flow of plastic resources into our communities, waters and the ocean.”

“Modern plastics-to-fuel technologies are a critical tool to recapture the value in materials that otherwise would be destined for landfill,” said Steve Russell, ACC’s vice president of plastics.

ACC and the Ocean Recovery Alliance announced the tools at the fourth annual Plasticity Forum held in Cascais, Portugal. Each year, Plasticity draws hundreds of global thought leaders in the areas of policy, design, innovation, waste management, retail/brand management, and more.

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The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is an $812 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is the nation’s largest exporter, accounting for twelve percent of all U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Ocean Recovery Alliance Ocean Recovery Alliance is a 501c3 registered non-profit organization in California, and is a registered charitable organization in Hong Kong. Ocean Recovery Alliance strives to combine forces with business and technology sectors in new ways that will help improve our ocean environment. Two of the group’s projects were announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and are focused on innovative prevention programs for plastic waste reduction. These include the Plastic Disclosure Project and the Global Alert platform—the only two global programs which can cut across borders without the need for bans, legislative changes, or taxes, to reduce waste. The group is one of the first in the world to be working with both the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank on this issue. Last year it launched a report with Trucost and UNEP on "Valuing Plastic, The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic." (Report: The group is the organizer of the Plasticity Forum, a unique global conference on plastic innovation for a world without the waste footprint.


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