Waste Today Magazine: Florida House and Senate Pass Plastics To Fuel Bill

May 5, 2017

The Florida House and Senate passed House Bill (HB) 335—Resource Recovery and Management. The Plastics Division of the Washington-based American Chemistry Council (ACC) welcomed the legislation and issued the following statement by Craig Cookson, senior director of recycling and energy recovery:

“The ACC’s Plastics Division welcomes the unanimous passage of HB335—the first-of-its-kind legislation that will make Florida a welcoming environment for innovative businesses that convert post-use non-recycled plastics into fuels, chemicals and chemical intermediates.

We’re thrilled to see legislation that attracts new innovative businesses and supports the creation of new jobs by treating post-use plastics as the energy rich resources they are by classifying them as equivalent to ‘recovered materials’ and not as ‘waste.’ In addition, HB335 ensures manufacturing facilities that convert these post-use plastics into liquid fuels, chemicals, waxes and lubricants are not wrongly classified as solid waste management facilities. It also facilitates recognition that the conversion of post-use plastics into these valuable products will count as recycling and contribute to meeting Florida’s 75 percent recycling goal.

Traditional recycling of plastics continues to increase in Florida and around the nation. However, there are economic barriers to recycling 100 percent of any material. New technologies, such as pyrolysis and gasification, are enabling manufacturers to recover more of the energy embodied in plastics.

Florida recycles nearly 7.4 million tons of municipal solid waste annually. Converting Florida’s non-recycled plastics into energy could provide enough fuel to power more than 500,000 cars every year. We applaud Rep. Charles Clemmons (R) and Sen. Keith Perry (R) for sponsoring this much needed legislation and urge Governor Scott to sign it.”