Chemical recycling is getting more attention than ever, but its benefits are unproven

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In the best-case scenario,  chemical recycling  could be used  for items outside of common packaging materials, such as textiles. With the correct environmental and social safeguards in place, chemical recycling could help lessen the  burden of millions of tons of textile  waste entering landfills each year. 

But  the worst-case scenario is  these technologies undermining  current recycling infrastructure, drawing resources away from an existing system in desperate need of improvement and investment. It may also divert efforts away from upstream solutions, such as reduction and reuse. Chemical recycling could create an incentive to keep generating plastic waste by enabling companies to build new supply chains that are dependent on this waste for inputs.  We run the risk of encouraging unnecessary plastic consumption as many companies eagerly seek out ways to meet ambitious waste mitigation commitments by 2025.

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