“Pausing” Plastic Permits Would Hurt American Jobs and Economic Growth

New report shows a potential loss of nearly 1M jobs and more than $400 million in economic activity

June 8, 2021

Every day Americans rely on plastics to make many components of modern life possible, including cell phones, lightweight and safer vehicles, vital medical equipment, food-use packaging, home insulation and so much more. But all these innovations could be at risk if recently proposed legislation is enacted.

According to a new report from the American Chemistry Council, key provisions in the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act and Title IX of the CLEAN Future Act could have unintended consequences that would risk crippling virtually every sector of American manufacturing. Both bills include provisions that “pause” from three to five years issuance of new EPA permits for critical plastics manufacturing, leading to shortages of products essential to our daily lives – from health care to connectivity, and even our cars.

This analysis used economic modeling forecasts from 546 key industries and the Bureau of Labor Statistics which indicated a pause in permitting would risk:

  • Costing Americans nearly 1 million jobs by 2026 – many of them permanent losses.
  • Cutting economic output by more than $400 billion by 2026.
  • Curtailing the manufacturing of materials used to make essential products including cars, cell phones, vaccine syringes and wind turbines.


By forcing the EPA to “pause” new permits for plastic manufacturing facilities, no new critical manufacturing facilities would be built, and existing facilities would be phased out of operation. Americans may also suffer product shortages, higher prices for essential products and services, and less effective and efficient alternatives. The pause would also hurt efforts to combat climate change by forcing companies to use alternative materials, many of which have a higher carbon footprint.

Get Involved

Your voice is important to ensure that we don’t take a step backward, and instead, look forward to real, pragmatic solutions that help America to Build Back Better.

Click here to tell your legislator to say NO to the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.