Preventing Pollution Or Creating More Greenhouse Gases? Missouri Debates ‘Advanced Recycling’

Missouri lawmakers are pushing to ease state regulations on so-called “advanced recycling,” a process proponents say diverts hard-to-recycle plastics from landfills and makes them into new products. The bill’s sponsor hopes to bring the massive facilities into the state to create jobs while saving the environment from plastic. But the promise made by advanced recycling is an empty one, critics counter, that does little to improve the environment and uses massive sums of energy, generally, without yielding new plastic. Advanced, or chemical recycling, breaks down plastics, like films and wrappers, that can’t be processed at mechanical recycling facilities. The hope is to increase the dismal rate of plastic recycling — less than 10% — and ease the burden on landfills.

By Allison Kite. St. Louis Public Radio/Missouri Independent. May 2, 2022.

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