Good News on Emissions from Advanced Recycling for Plastic

winding river with trees

Advanced recycling technologies convert used plastic into its building block materials that can be remade into new plastic. Again and again. These technologies can significantly increase the types and amounts of plastic that can be recycled, helping us recover more of the 90% of valuable plastic materials that do not get recycled today.

Low Air Emissions

Like other manufacturers, advanced recycling facilities must comply with multiple, stringent requirements to operate, such as the Clean Air Act and state and local regulations.

A 2021 study by Good Company found air emissions from typical pyrolysis facilities were very low. (Pyrolysis is the most common advanced recycling technology.)

Drives Down Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Like other recycling operations, advanced recycling can lower the environmental footprint of plastic manufacturing, particularly related to greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory looked at 2017-2021 data from eight operating advanced recycling facilities. Argonne researchers found that making plastic from used plastic through advanced recycling/pyrolysis can help drive down greenhouse gas emissions from plastic manufacturing…significantly.