Texas has become the sixth state—and the third state this year—to pass legislation to promote advanced plastics recycling and recovery technologies, which convert post-consumer plastics into valuable raw materials using chemical recycling.
Texas Legislature passed HB 1953 May 6th and the bill was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on May 17th. The bill would prohibit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) from considering postconsumer polymers or recyclable, recoverable feedstocks as solid waste “if they were converted using pyrolysis or gasification into a valuable product.”
In Texas, it’s estimated that converting the state’s postconsumer plastics into transportation fuel could power 859,700 cars per year. Experts also determined that converting just 25 percent of the state’s postconsumer plastics into manufacturing feedstocks and transportation fuels could support 40 advanced recycling and recovery facilities and generate $501 million in economic output annually.
"Advanced recycling and recovery technologies provide a wide array of opportunities for Texas,” Texas Chemical Council President and CEO Hector Rivero says.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, applauded Texas Legislature for signing the bill in a recent news release. “Texas and a growing number of states are leading the way by creating pathways for advanced recycling and recovery to create value from post-use plastics, while keeping them out of landfills,” remarks Craig Cookson, senior director of recycling and recovery, ACC. “Legislation such as HB 1953 attracts new businesses and supports job creation by treating post-use plastics as raw materials for ‘manufacturing’ and not as ‘waste.’ We thank Representative Ed Thompson and Senator Kelly Hancock for their leadership in managing this important legislation and urge Governor Abbott to sign this bill into law.”
Texas is the largest chemical manufacturing state in the U.S. with more than $117 billion of industry investment. Texas joins Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Iowa and Tennessee in passing similar legislation, “reinforcing states’ growing recognition of the economic and environmental benefits of recovering post-use plastic resources," ACC says.
“Plastics are valuable materials that should be used and reused,” states Rick Wagner, sustainability policy and program manager, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, The Woodlands, Texas. “By expanding chemical recycling facilities, we can repurpose more plastics and meet the growing demand for recycled plastics. HB 1953 will help make this a reality in Texas.”
A recent ACC report found the potential economic impact of expanding advanced plastic recycling and recovering technologies in the U.S. to be nearly $10 billion. A recent Closed Loop Partners, New York, report also found the demand for recycled plastics is growing. ACC says if chemical recycling technology companies meet growing demand, they have potential revenue opportunities of $120 billion in the U.S. and Canada.