Coalition of top business and labor groups encourage support for advanced recycling legislation

Good for the environment, good for the economy.

These are just two of the reasons many of the top business and labor groups in the state are calling on lawmakers to support advanced recycling efforts in the state.

Unbeknownst to many, plastic is not completely recyclable in standard mechanical facilities. A bill, A1759, would encourage the state to create additional manufacturing facilities to help further break down plastics.

This technology, which already is in use or being considered in 22 states, is intended to complement existing recycling facilities.

In a letter to legislators backing the legislation, which is sponsored by Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Madison), a coalition of the state’s largest employer, industry and labor groups — including the Plastics Industry Association — encouraged the state to support advanced recycling technology.

“Advanced recycling technology offers a wide range of benefits, from improving and complementing traditional recycling systems to reducing the rate that plastics end up in landfills, helping to create cleaner communities in New Jersey,” they wrote. “This technology has been readily deployed in other states across the country like New Hampshire, Texas and Missouri, among others, and we must follow suit to not be left behind.

“Moreover, advanced recycling’s ability to drive economic progress can be vital to New Jersey, creating hundreds of jobs throughout the state, and helping New Jersey avoid spending millions of dollars on plastic waste reduction annually. Plus, with plastics so prevalent in everyday necessities ranging from packaged food and bottled water to safe and sterile health care tools, advanced recycling can play a key role in community accessibility and safety.”

They went on to say:

“With proper investments in advanced recycling, New Jersey can change the economic and environmental landscape globally, and as demand for plastic increases, New Jersey’s energy capacity can as well. It’s a win-win that benefits both our economy and the environment alike.

“For us to reap the benefit of advanced recycling, our state legislators must be intentional about encouraging its development. We ask that you consider supporting advanced recycling legislation when it comes to the table and enact effective policies that encourage advanced recycling use so that we can drive New Jersey forward and reach our climate goals.”

The letter was signed by the following groups:

  • Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey;
  • Chemistry Council of New Jersey;
  • Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey;
  • Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative, ELEC825;
  • Flexible Packaging Association;
  • Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce;
  • New Jersey Business & Industry Association;
  • New Jersey Chamber of Commerce;
  • New Jersey Food Council;
  • Plastics Industry Association.