WWF announces chemical recycling position amid unknown environmental and social outcomes fears

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has announced its position on chemical recycling, labelling it “an emerging technology with unknown environmental and social outcomes.”

The Chemical Recycling Implementation Principles – representing part of WWF’s No Plastic in Nature vision – are as follows:

  1. Chemical recycling should not divert resources from efforts to implement existing, proven approaches to address the global plastic pollution problem.
  2. Chemical recycling processes should demonstrate a reduced carbon footprint compared with virgin resin production.
  3. Chemical recycling must not negatively impact local communities and must demonstrate their operation is safe for human health.
  4. Safeguarding nature – chemical recycling technologies must not adversely impact our air, water, and environment.
  5. The use of chemical recycling should complement existing waste management systems and not compete for feedstocks with mechanical recycling.
  6. Plastic waste streams should be matched to the most environmentally efficient technology available.
  7. Only material-to-material applications of chemical recycling should be considered recycling and part of a circular economy.
  8. Chemical recycling systems should not transform recyclable material into non-recyclable material.
  9. Claims made regarding chemical recycling should be true, clear, and relevant.
  10. Plastic recycled with chemical recycling technologies should be verified with chain of custody.

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