MOSCOW (MRC) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday said it will require companies that produce oil from a process known as "advanced recycling" to submit the product to the agency to test it for impurities, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
The measure is one of dozens of goals and objectives the EPA has outlined in a new draft federal strategy for preventing plastic pollution that was required by a law passed in 2020 aimed at keeping plastic waste and post-consumer materials out of waterways and oceans.
The agency is seeking public input on an array of strategic objectives and voluntary actions that can be taken to "reduce, reuse, collect, and capture plastic and other waste from land-based sources" by 2040.
While the EPA has said it wants to promote "circular economy policies," which focus on the reuse of plastic waste, it said it will exclude "processes that convert solid waste to fuels, fuel ingredients, or energy from being considered as a recycling practice in this strategy."
"Advanced recycling," also known as pyrolisis or chemical recycling, is a set of reprocessing technologies that the plastics industry has touted as a solution to deal with the global scourge of plastic waste. It uses heat or chemicals to turn plastic waste into fuel or reclaimed resin to make new plastic.
The agency said that though it had welcomed "further discussion" on the technology when its released a separate draft national recycling plan in late 2021, it now "reaffirms that...it does not consider activities that convert non-hazardous solid waste to fuels or fuel substitutes or for energy production to be 'recycling' activities."
The EPA also said it has become aware of health concerns and environmental risks related to impurities found in oil from pyrolisis and will require companies to submit oil chemicals to the Agency for review under the Toxic Substances Control Act for testing prior to approval of projects, and ongoing testing to ensure there is no variability in the plastic waste stream used to generate the pyrolysis oil.
A recent Reuters investigation found that advanced recycling projects backed major companies have been dropped or indefinitely delayed because they were not commercially viable.
We remind, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed increases in the amount of ethanol and other biofuels oil refiners must blend into their fuel over the next three years. The agency is also proposing incorporating electricity made from renewable biomass and used for electric vehicle into the program for the first time. The agency's long-awaited proposal will call for overall blending mandates of 20.82 B gallons in 2023, 21.87 B gallons in 2024 and 22.68 B gallons in 2025.