Plastics Files Comments With General Services Administration, Opposes Rulemaking Banning Federal Purchase of Single Use Plastics

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) filed comments today with the General Services Administration (GSA), in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking which could ban the purchase of single-use plastics by federal government agencies through the GSA. Included in PLASTICS’ official submission are examples of the detrimental impacts such a rulemaking would have on consumers, businesses, the broader economy, and the environment.

“If this proposal moves forward, it will run directly counter to the administration’s environmental goals to reduce emissions,” said Matt Seaholm, President, and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS). “This proposal would not only cost taxpayers millions and millions of dollars, it would force the use of products and materials that will have a much larger environmental footprint than the plastic products the administration would be looking to phase out.

“In the limited amount of time the GSA provided for public comment, PLASTICS compiled multiple examples of how plastics materials, in most applications, perform better from an economic and environmental perspective than other available materials. As the federal government outlines ambitions to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and build a circular, greener future, plastics are a crucial partner in getting there.

“Our industry is investing billions of dollars to recycle more plastic waste in the U.S. We would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the Administration to develop effective recycling solutions that reduce plastic waste through smart investments in infrastructure, technology, and education,” concluded Seaholm.

In August of 2022, PLASTICS announced the launch of an educational campaign which included information made available at illustrating the implications and potential impact that a rulemaking like this could have, in addition to extreme costs beyond just the plastics industry, potentially harming infrastructure, construction, shipping, consumers and even national parks.

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $395 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability through education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, networking opportunities and policy advocacy, including the largest plastics trade show in the Americas, NPE2024: The Plastics Show.