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Industry groups want greater focus on recycling in infrastructure package

Industry groups want greater focus on recycling in infrastructure package
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Industry leaders are criticizing aspects of President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package, saying it doesn’t focus more on recycling as a way to bolster sustainability.

The plastics industry is among some U.S. manufacturers who are gearing up to lobby lawmakers on the need to include more recycling components as Biden’s proposal makes its way through Congress. 

“We need further investment in recycling infrastructure to bring us closer to our shared goal of sustainability, but we are disappointed this was not made a priority,” said Tony Radoszewski, CEO of the Plastics Industry Association, in a statement.

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The group said it plans to create coalitions with other industries in Washington to lobby on the issue.

“Even among non-transportation infrastructure, Biden’s proposal fails to take into account the need for increased domestic recycling infrastructure that was highlighted by shortages of manufacturing feedstock during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year,” the National Waste & Recycling Association said in a statement.

The group said it’s hopeful the eventual legislation will evolve from Biden’s initial proposal.

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is also planning on pushing to ensure the final version includes more sustainability provisions.

“OIA and our member companies are working with lawmakers on the Hill to ensure the climate change and sustainability provisions included in the president’s infrastructure plan remain a priority for Congress,” said Lise Aageenburg, the group’s executive director.

Aageenburg said OIA will be having regular meetings with lawmakers and their staff members on the issue. 

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Like many industry leaders, OIA called the infrastructure package a good first step. Bigger business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, say they plan to engage on the legislation, mostly focused on Biden's idea to pay for it.

In unveiling the package, Biden said he wants to raise the corporate tax rate to cover the cost — an unwelcome idea for many companies. But business leaders have expressed that they are encouraged by the administration’s willingness to negotiate on elements of the package. 

“There’s concerns about the infrastructure bill. Various components of it depends on plastics. It doesn’t have recycling infrastructure,” said Brendan Thomas, a spokesperson for the Plastics Industry Association.

He said plastics are essential for various parts of infrastructure, including telecommunications and broadband where plastic is used to wire cable and for installation, as well as for automobile manufacturing and to make electric vehicles, a key focus on Biden’s infrastructure package.