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Chemical recycling, sometimes known as advanced recycling, has long been a controversial practice in the recycling arena. At the Southeast Recycling Development Council annual meeting Dec. 1, representatives from Eastman and PureCycle, two companies that do chemical recycling, made the case for how their businesses fit into broader circular economy efforts to reduce virgin plastic use and keep waste out of landfills and waterways.
Their effort comes amid ongoing state and federal policy discussions that could help or hinder the future development of chemical recycling. Some environmentalists want to pause chemical recycling facilities over concerns that the processes they use are harmful to the environment or enable companies to create fuels from plastic instead of focusing on how to replace virgin resin with recycled resin. Here are some takeaways from the discussion.