Colo. Gov. Vetoes Bill To End State Incentives For ‘Advanced Recycling’

"A Colorado bill to cut off state support for the plastics industry’s favorite new recycling plan is in the waste bin.

Gov. Jared Polis vetoed legislation on Friday that would have banned state incentives for projects to process waste through pyrolysis and gasification — techniques to break down plastics using heat applied in low-oxygen environments. The resulting chemicals can serve as the ingredients for new plastic products or alternative transportation fuels.

“While I share the proponents’ concerns about the air quality impacts of any project or technology, it is not appropriate to speculatively disincentivize critical pathways that could be important to Colorado’s efforts on climate action,” the governor wrote in a veto letter. “The bill as delivered to my desk is still unworkable.”

Major petrochemical companies insist the processes could spur a circular economy for plastic waste. By investing in what it calls “chemical recycling” or “advanced recycling,” the industry claims it can prevent its products from clogging the world’s oceans and landfills.

Environmental groups, meanwhile, warn that the processes require massive amounts of energy while emitting significant pollution and climate-warming emissions. Instead of an innovative recycling plan, critics say the techniques are a false solution designed by the industry to distract from policies to cut plastic use and production."

Sam Brasch reports for Colorado Public Radio May 20, 2024.

Source: CPR, 05/23/2024