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Pascrell, Reichert Unveil Bipartisan Legislation Aimed At Promoting The Conversion Of Discarded Plastics Into Usable Fuels And Products

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

In keeping with President Barack Obama's call for a cleaner world and a greener economy, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8), joined by Ways and Means colleague U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA-8) today introduced the Plastics Recycling Act of 2009.

"This legislation provides an incentive for investors to support advanced recycling business ventures," said Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "By providing a tax credit for the amount of material created from discarded plastics, we will foster the growth of these small businesses throughout New Jersey and throughout the country and create jobs in the new economy."

"This is an important new incentive to encourage small businesses to turn waste into new energy resources," said Reichert, the lead Republican supporting the bill. "It is a means for us to create jobs and advance new energy solutions while simultaneously improving our stewardship of the environment."

Pascrell and Reichert designed the bill (H.R. 3592) to provide small, domestic advanced recycling plants an annual tax credit of 60 cents per gallon of qualified synthetic oil made from plastic separated from the waste stream during a tax year. The synthetic oil can then be used to manufacture clean diesel, lubricants and waxes.

The tax credit is intended to attract investment in these small businesses that will provide jobs, and also save taxpayers' money.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans create 31 million tons of plastic waste every year, yet less than 10 percent is recycled. The remaining 28 million tons are dumped into the nation's landfills. Communities, particularly in New Jersey, pay high "tipping fees" at the landfills each year resulting in wasted dollars paid to bury usable plastic.

Even though Americans have been diligent in recycling soda bottles, water bottles and milk jugs, these items make up less than 10 percent of plastic waste, according to the EPA. Clean-running advanced recycling technologies can allow a greater majority of plastic waste to be re-used.

Because the plastic waste is locally generated, advanced recycling plants are able to be located all over the country in order to be close to the raw materials. Therefore, new job opportunities could be brought almost anywhere in the nation.

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