In April 2022, a Texas company unveiled a plan to transform a tiny Pennsylvania town into an industrial hub: it would invest $1.1 billion into building a manufacturing plant that will annually convert around 450,000 tons of plastic waste — an amount 40 times as heavy as the Eiffel Tower — into feedstock for new products, a process dubbed by the plastics industry as “advanced recycling,” though also known as “chemical recycling.” In a press release, the company, Encina, says the facility will help the world transition toward a circular economy and achieve carbon neutrality. But critics say the company is simply burning plastic to make fuel and that these actions will endanger the environment and human health. Encina has yet to open its new plant in Point Township, Pennsylvania, but there could be about eight other facilities currently operating across the U.S. that use so-called advanced recycling processes, according to a brief by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Environmental experts say the facilities operate under the guise of being recycling plants, when they’re really producing hazardous toxic waste, some of which is converted into fuel. Moreover, they say these facilities are able to evade a number of environmental regulations due to 20 state laws that define advanced recycling as a manufacturing process, rather than as a more strictly regulated waste disposal process. Now, environmental experts say they anticipate an even greater problem: the possibility of a federal bill being introduced that, if passed into law, would strengthen the chemical…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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