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Gonzalez Introduces Bill to Improve Recycling and Reduce Plastic Waste

Apr 22, 2021
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and Research & Technology Subcommittee Chairwoman Haley Stevens (D-MI), and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced bipartisan legislation today to improve plastics and battery recycling and reduce the environmental impact of their consumption.

The Advanced Recycling Research and Development Act directs the Department of Energy to carry out research, development, and demonstration programs to accelerate innovation in plastics and battery recycling, reduce the environmental impact of their consumption, and increase the economic value and security of domestic resources and supply chains.

“It is important that Congress works on developing innovative, bipartisan recycling and disposal solutions,” Gonzalez said. “I am proud to reintroduce the Advanced Recycling Research and Development with my colleagues Ranking Member Frank Lucas and Rep. Haley Stevens that will take meaningful steps to ensure that we are continuing to find more efficient ways to consume and reuse the products we rely on.”

“I appreciate the work Rep. Gonzalez is doing to invest in research on new recycling techniques for plastic products and lithium-based batteries,” Lucas said. “Plastics and batteries are integral to the way we live our lives, but we can’t ignore their impact on the environment. We have a responsibility to find ways to recycle, upcycle, and minimize waste. This bill will support the research necessary to develop new technologies to reduce our waste and maximize our resources.”

The plastics recycling program authorized by the Advanced Recycling Research and Development Act will work to develop new sorting and collection techniques, methods for deconstructing waste, and innovative new technologies and plastics composites. The battery program will aim to support the development technologies to reclaim and recycle materials from lithium-based battery technologies currently used in consumer electronics, defense, storage, and transportation. It will also help promote the discovery of new environmentally friendly materials that can be used for batteries, innovate a cost-effective process for the collection of discarded lithium-based batteries, and develop a cost-effective recycling process to recover critical materials found in lithium-based batteries.

Stevens, Gonzalez, and Lucas, along with Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), also introduced the bipartisan Plastic Waste Reduction and Recycling Research Act today, which directs the establishment of a plastic waste reduction and recycling research and development program, calls on the Federal government to develop a strategic plan for plastic waste reduction, and calls for the development of standards for plastics recycling technologies.

117th Congress