With legislation recently introduced to allow for the construction and operation of advanced recycling facilities in New York, more than eight in ten registered voters in the state say they support promoting advanced recycling manufacturing sites to create new plastics out of used and recycled products, according to a survey of 1,000 statewide voters on both sides of the aisle.

Advanced recycling is a manufacturing process that leverages technology to convert hard-to-recycle used plastic like films and pouches into top-quality, new plastic. Through these cutting-edge technologies, many more types of plastics can be recycled compared to traditional, or mechanical, recycling, which currently has only achieved a plastics recycling rate of about 9%. Using advanced recycling, even mixed plastics and plastics with food residue can be remade into new plastics approved for food, pharmaceutical and medical use. A 2021 report by Closed Loop Partners estimates advanced recycling could double the plastics packaging recycling rate by 2030.

Survey respondents were initially asked their views on regulating advanced recycling as a manufacturing process, like SB 7891 and AB 9495 would do if passed into law, which won the support of 77% of respondents. After reading both negative and positive statements about advanced recycling, support to regulate advanced recycling as a manufacturing process increased to 80%. Additionally, after learning more about advanced recycling, 85% of respondents said they were more likely to vote for a candidate that supports advanced recycling legislation, with the strongest support coming from Democrats at 91%.

Other key findings: a majority of New Yorkers want policies that encourage economic growth and more jobs, while only 15% of voters said they were satisfied with how New York has balanced environmental protection with economic growth. This tracks with the overwhelming support of advanced recycling in the state, which has the potential to add over $500 million in economic output annually in New York (when only 25% of recoverable plastics are processed by advanced recycling) while displacing nearly 880,000 tons of plastic created from fossil resources each year.

“We already know advanced recycling diverts waste from landfills, further lowers the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of plastics, and creates jobs,” said Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council. “This poll also makes clear advanced recycling has massive political support from voters all across New York.”

With the passage of SB 7891 and AB 9495, New York would become the 19th state to adopt advanced recycling, which would modernize the state’s antiquated recycling infrastructure and pave the way for billions of dollars in private investment and new jobs supporting a more sustainable economy.

For more information, visit www.americanchemistry.com.