U.S. Congressmen Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced HR 8297, the Advanced Recycling Research and Development Act of 2020, to direct the U.S. Department of Energy to carry out research, development, and demonstration programs to accelerate innovation in plastics and battery recycling and reduce the environmental impact of their consumption. 

“I firmly believe that innovation is the key to moving our country and our world forward, especially when it comes to finding better ways to minimize waste and protect our environment,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “This legislation takes action to ensure that we are continuing to find safer, better, and more efficient ways to consume and reuse the products we rely on. I thank Ranking Member Lucas and Representative Marshall for joining me in this effort and I look forward to working with my colleagues to push forward this commonsense legislation.”

“Plastic products and lithium-ion batteries are essential to the way we live our lives now, from the cell phones in our hands to the containers in our refrigerators. Our reliance on these materials means we have a responsibility to find ways to recycle, upcycle, and minimize waste. The Advanced Recycling Research and Development Act leverages the best researchers and facilities from the Department of Energy to research advanced technology to minimize our plastic and lithium-ion waste. I appreciate Congressman Gonzalez’s leadership on this issue. Forward-thinking policies like this allow us to invest in the research that will drive the next generation of technologies, helping to reduce our waste and maximize our resource use,” said House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK).

"Developing better recycling and disposal practices for plastics and batteries is crucial for the health of our environment. The Advanced Recycling Research and Development Act will spur innovative solutions to this challenge. The American Conservation Coalition thanks Representative Gonzalez for his leadership on this important issue," said Quill Robinson, Vice President of Government Affairs at the American Conservation Coalition.

The plastics recycling program instituted 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-ion base 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-ion batteries, and develop a cost-effective recycling process to recover critical materials found in lithium-ion batteries.

This bill is endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ConservAmerica, American Conservation Coalition, and American Chemistry Council.