|Biobased and Renewable Products Update
|February 13, 2020
Democrats Propose Legislation To Phase Out Single-Use Plastic Products
On February 11, 2020, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and U.S. Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) introduced a bill that would phase out unnecessary single-use plastic products: Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020. The legislation would also hold corporations accountable for wasteful products, reform the broken waste and recycling collection system, and reduce wasteful packaging. According to Udall, 92 percent of plastic waste in the United States is never recycled. Focused on waste reduction and waste management policies that can reverse this trend in the country, the implementation of this act would shift the responsibility for recycling and cleanup to the companies that produce wasteful products. The Senate bill is co-sponsored by five other Democratic Senators and 28 Democratic House Representatives. The bill would:
- Spur innovation through incentives for big corporations to make reusable products and items that can actually be recycled;
- Establish minimum recycled content requirements for beverage containers, packaging, and food-service products, while standardizing recycling and composting labeling;
- Reduce and ban certain single-use plastic products that are not recyclable;
- Require big corporations to take responsibility for their pollution, requiring producers of plastic products to design, manage, and finance waste and recycling programs;
- Spur massive investments in the U.S. domestic recycling and composting infrastructure, while pressing pause on new plastic facilities until critical environmental and health protections are put in place;
- Create a nationwide beverage container refund program, which is successful at the state level;
- Encourage the design of less wasteful products by ensuring that producers are responsible for cleanup costs and recycling infrastructure; and
- End the hazardous practice of exporting plastic waste overseas to developing countries that do not have the infrastructure in place to manage that waste.
TSCA Stakeholders Beware: Enforcement Is On The Rise
Federal enforcement of chemical product laws is alive and well, despite a broadly held misconception to the contrary. We have seen over the past 18 months or so an uptick in federal enforcement under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) writes to alert stakeholders of this fact. B&C believes that this trend will continue in 2020. Check out its memorandum on the topic here.
Wyoming Governor Requests Funding For The Establishment Of A New Energy Program
On February 10, 2020, the Governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, delivered his 2020 State of the State Address, which included a request to lawmakers of a $25 million investment to establish the Energy Commercialization Program. The program is designed to provide a coordinated approach to support research on technologies that advance zero or net-negative carbon uses for coal and other fossil fuels. Gordon stated: “Wyoming will always advocate for our industries, whether it be to protect against unconstitutional restraint of trade, or in their endeavors to deliver cleaner, more dependable, more affordable, and safer energy to our nation.” While supporting coal mines and preventing them from closing, Gordon seeks to build a carbon capture and sequestration facility in Wyoming. Criticizing states such as California, Oregon, and Washington, Gordon went as far as stating that Wyoming will require true carbon dioxide sequestration and “not just some artificial notion that wind and solar can cure climate change all by themselves.” The Wyoming Governor also urged lawmakers to support legislation that would require all new electric generation capacity in the state to be reliable, consistent, and reasonably net carbon negative.
EC To Host Webinar On Fast Pyrolysis Oil Biobased Products
The European Commission (EC) will host a webinar on biobased products developed from fast pyrolysis oil, where four companies will present their work. A technology that can convert a wide range of biomass into clean and uniform bio-oil that is easy to transport and store, fast pyrolysis has mostly focused, thus far, on the use of pyrolysis oil for energy purposes. According to EC, the Horizon 2020 project called Bio4Products, however, has recently developed a technology to divide pyrolysis oil into multiple fractions that could be used for material applications. In its webinar, EC will showcase some of the latest results from companies using this technology. Part of a series of webinars called From Biomass to Biobased Products, the webinar will be on February 20, 2020, at 5:00 a.m. (EST). Interested parties may register for the webinar here.
Forbes, “Bio-Nylon Is the New Green: How One Company Is
Fermenting a $10 Billion Market”
National DEFENSE, “Army Research May Lead to New Class of Materials”
Progressive Farmer, “RFA’s Cooper: Ethanol Future Low Carbon”
The Hill, “Trump Budget Slashes EPA Funding, Environmental
Reuters, “France Must Put Gene-Edited Crops under GMO Rules This
Plastics Today, “Consumers Confused by Distinction between Biobased and
Biobased and Renewable
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