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American Chemistry Council

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About American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is an industry trade association for American chemical companies.

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Latest American Chemistry Council News

Plastic industry groups highlight recycling progress and targets on America Recycles Day

Nov 15, 2022

Plastic industry groups highlight recycling progress and targets on America Recycles Day The Washington-based American Chemistry Council also released a report on the potential of secondary sortation facilities. November 15, 2022 On America Recycles Day, which takes place Nov. 15, several plastic industry leaders have announced progress that is being made related to plastics recycling efforts. The Washington-based American Chemistry Council (ACC) has announced several developments that demonstrate progress toward meeting some of its members’ goal to reuse, recycle or recover 100 percent of U.S. plastic packaging by 2040. ACC says Titus MRF Services of Danville, California, has prepared a report titled, “Northeast Secondary Sorting Study” for ACC to highlight the potential for using advanced sortation in the Northeast. ACC says the report states that secondary sorting facilities could recapture up to 50 percent of the plastic and other material that otherwise would have gone to landfill. Other groups also have released important studies to help encourage the use of secondary sortation facilities for recycling plastics. According to ACC, McKinsey & Co. has published, “Beyond the Bottle: Solutions for Recycling Challenging Plastics,” which reports that demand for recycled plastic is strong and that wider deployment of feedstock preparation facilities (e.g., secondary sortation facilities) can help recycle a wider variety of plastics and improve the quality of the feedstock available for recycling. McKinsey’s report says secondary sortation facilities can drive down the cost of plastics processing, making them economically attractive to investors. ACC says U.S. plastic makers have made investments in secondary sortation facilities in order to improve recycling rates and accelerate a more circular economy for plastics, including a $100 million investment from ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell and Cyclyx in Houston. “When it comes to building a circular economy, America’s plastic makers aren’t just dipping their toes in—we’re diving in headfirst,” says Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council. “We’re seeing millions, sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars, being regularly announced to expand, advance and accelerate America’s plastics recycling infrastructure.” ACC reports that wider access to feedstock preparation facilities would enable “a huge step forward” for plastics recycling. In addition, Plastics Industry Association (Plastics) President and CEO Matt Seaholm released a statement Nov. 15 highlighting the importance of recycling in the plastics industry. “Recycling Day reminds us that without the actual process of recycling, we would head down the wrong path in the face of environmental challenges,” Seaholm says. “Recycling is real and the plastics industry is committed to solutions in sustainability that reduce plastic waste. The plastics industry has invested billions of dollars into recycling technology in an effort to increase recycling rates with billions more announced, and we are proud to be part of the solution. While the recycling efforts of communities and business throughout the United States have helped with the success and growth of recycling rates, America can do better. “The great news is that we are recycling billions of pounds of plastic every year and that number is only going up—but we need to recycle more. Working with other industries in the recycling stream, we need to make it easier for consumers to get more material to our recyclers and keep that valuable plastic in the economy instead of in a landfill.” | Can Manufacturers Institute calls for passage of 2 recycling bills The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act and the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act would provide consistent data and support for infrastructure that would increase recycling rates nationwide. November 15, 2022 With the November elections behind us, it is time for the House Leadership and House Energy and Commerce Committee to immediately pass two bipartisan recycling-related measures during the remaining weeks of the 117th Congress. They are both critical steps toward bolstering recycling rates, improving U.S. recycling infrastructure and reducing consumer confusion about recycling. The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), Washington, D.C., and its members support recycling legislation that ensures a robust recycling system that benefits the environment and the economy. The organization is the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States The two bills are the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (HR 8183) and the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act (HR 8059). CMI supports the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act. This bill would provide critical data to improve existing recycling programs and evaluate future recycling policies. Introduced by West Virginia Reps. David McKinley and Mikie Sherrill, HR 8059 would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collect, maintain and publish data on recycling and composting rates across the country. This would provide accurate tracking of recycling and composting performance nationally and at the state level. Recycling solutions require uniformity across national and state data to build a collection, recycling and reuse system based on what works and what does not work. CMI also supports the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act (HR 8183), which provides grants for projects to make recycling programs more accessible to rural and disadvantaged communities. Metal can manufacturers need recycled materials to make new can sheet metal to maintain international competitiveness. This bill, introduced by Reps. Joe Neguse of Colorado, Tim Burchett of Tennessee and Bill Foster of Illinois, will help those communities establish the infrastructure, education, accessibility and markets for recovering and recycling the packaging materials of today and the future. HR 8183 and HR 8059 will improve recycling rates at homes and businesses, but neither address beverage containers consumed on-the-go in places like parks, beaches and on road trips, where recycling bins may not be available. Consumers who see value in their beverage containers will chose to recycle them rather than leaving them on the ground or tossing them in a garbage can. Incentivizing consumers to recycle their empty cans can be accomplished through a recycling refund program, also referred to as a beverage container redemption program. CMI would like Congress to introduce and pass recycling refund legislation that would increase the recycling rate for all packaging materials and incentivize consumers to recycle their beverage containers. Recycling refunds have a proven track record of reducing litter and providing clean materials to serve as recycled content in new beverage containers. These programs enable lower greenhouse gas emissions because new beverage containers use more recovered material, and by encouraging more recycling, these programs also create more jobs than when beverage containers are landfilled. Most importantly, 90 percent of Americans who already have access to recycling refunds and 81 percent of consumers nationwide support the programs. The author is the president of the Can Manufacturers Institute and can be reached at . WestRock sells remaining interest in RTS Packaging joint venture to Sonoco The Atlanta-based packaging producer also plans to sell its URB mills in Eaton, Indiana, and Aurora, Illinois, in $50 million deal with Ox Industries. November 15, 2022 WestRock Co. has announced it is divesting its ownership interest in RTS Packaging and selling its remaining equity interest to joint venture (JV) partner Sonoco for $330 million, subject to customary price adjustments. The Atlanta-based packaging producer also has signed a definitive agreement to sell its uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) mills in Eaton, Indiana, and Aurora, Illinois, for $50 million to Ox Industries, a vertically integrated paper tube and core, paperboard, specialty paper and protective packaging producer based in Hanover, Pennsylvania. WestRock’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, mill is included in the RTS Packaging transaction. That facility supplies RTS with URB and will be strategically integrated into the Sonoco portfolio. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. “These divestitures align with WestRock’s commitment to optimize its portfolio and focus our strategy on key end markets,” WestRock CEO David B. Sewell says. “I want to thank the teammates in RTS Packaging and our Chattanooga, Eaton and Aurora mills for their numerous contributions to our success over the years. “Looking forward, we remained committed to leveraging the power of our broad, diverse portfolio of sustainable paper and packaging solutions to serve our customers and provide value to our shareholders.” RTS Packaging was formed in 1997 as a JV that combined the former protective packaging operations of WestRock (then known as Rock-Tenn Co.) and Sonoco to market solid fiber partitions from 100-percent-recycled paperboard to glass container manufacturers and producers of wine, liquor, food and pharmaceuticals. Prior to the latest transaction, Sonoco had 35 percent ownership interest and WestRock had 65 percent ownership interest in RTS. The move gives Sonoco full ownership of 14 converting operations—10 in the United States, two in Mexico and two in South America—and one paper mill. “RTS Packaging has been a tremendous success for both WestRock and Sonoco [and] over the last 25 years, we have worked in true partnership to build a great company,” Sonoco President and CEO Howard Coker says. “we are excited to acquire the remaining stake in RTS Packaging and look forward to working with Al Bosma, who will remain as the RTS leader, and the entire management team to continue to strengthen and grow the business.” He continues, “The acquisition is well-aligned with Sonoco’s long-term strategy to focus on our core integrated businesses and expand our sustainable consumer packaging portfolio. RTS has exposure to growing beverage markets as well as unique capabilities to support marquee customers in these markets.” Analysts: Metals recycling M&A activity like 'riding a roller coaster' Consolidation trends in the metals recycling market are expected to persist in 2023 as well as a continued focus on environmental stewardship for management teams and investors. November 15, 2022 The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market for metals recycling companies has been like riding a roller coaster for the last 18 to 24 months. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions and tight material markets drove a flurry of transaction activity as metal recyclers seized the opportunity to add scale and metal producers sought to secure metal units. The headline-grabbing transactions of 2021 then incentivized many private owners to explore liquidity events in the first half of this year. Transaction activity subsequently slowed as quickly as it increased, leaving many companies that pursued a business sale unable to find a buyer. Several factors contributed to the slowing activity, including changes to the macroeconomic environment (i.e., the inflation that inevitably followed record fiscal and monetary stimulus), a valuation gap between buyers and sellers and overall market volatility. As the global economic outlook settles and provides greater clarity on the future operating environment, we believe 2023 could be a good year for metals recycling transactions in the middle market ( The COVID-19 pandemic tested metals supply chains as they have never been tested before. The immediate demand shock of the pandemic pressured metals pricing and led to a curtailing of production capacity. The U.S. government’s unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus followed inflated asset values and stimulated a rapid economic recovery—suddenly, recyclers and metal producers needed to ramp up to meet growing demand. The supply chain simply wasn’t prepared for this kind of reaction, as labor inefficiency, reduced access to obsolete scrap and the lag effect of lower industrial production from March 2020 to October 2021 further strained an already tight material market. The sharp pricing recovery and sustained backlog of demand created a strong operating environment through the second half of 2020 and 2021. The favorable postpandemic operating environment strengthened balance sheets and fueled a range of strategic investments in recycling. Consolidators in the scrap recycling industry were active acquirers, as numerous recyclers like SA Recycling and Triple-M completed multiple acquisitions in 2021 and 2022. Other recyclers opted for strategic investments in capacity expansion or new capabilities. Ferrous-heavy assets have been particularly sought after, as steel producers snapped up ferrous recycling assets at a rapid pace. Cleveland Cliffs , BlueScope , Steel Dynamics (OmniSource) and Nucor Corp. all completed notable acquisitions with the support of investors. In addition to the inherent competitive advantage of controlling raw material supply, the acquisition of metals recycling platforms has been welcomed by investors who have embraced environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and business plans. Decarbonization also remains a consistent theme for steelmakers this year. The strategic focus on ESG and securing access to metal units is not isolated to the ferrous market, with nonferrous metals producers also making significant investments in recycling. Nonferrous metals producers are attacking recycling from multiple angles, with some companies, like Wieland , Aurubis and Aperam , pursuing strategic acquisitions and others, like Novelis and Hydro , making strategic investments in greenfield operations. The aluminum industry has been particularly notable, as producers are under significant pressure from investors to clean up, or decarbonize, their supply chains and develop higher-purity secondary products. Aluminum producers have chosen to primarily focus on greenfield investments in captive recycling operations, rather than acquiring legacy platforms. These new recycling operations can be dedicated to aluminum recycling and more easily integrate customers into closed-loop recycling arrangements. However, in areas like copper and specialty metals, producers have made strategic acquisitions of existing recycling platforms, like Totall Metal Recycling , Metallo Group and ELG Haniel , to reduce their carbon footprints and secure consistent access to high-quality scrap streams in metal markets where production of virgin metal units has been more volatile. Environmental stewardship remains a strategic focus for management teams and investors. With new recyclers entering the market each year, we expect consolidation trends to persist and the valuation gap between buyers and sellers to begin to normalize in 2023. Valuation expectations could moderate as earnings normalize and higher capital costs become a reality for all companies, and with greater clarity on the macroeconomic outlook and the future operating environment, buyers should become more confident in their valuation of recycling assets. We also expect the backlog of stalled auction processes from mid-2022 to reenter or test the market in 2023. Business owners who are contemplating an exit should begin to prepare for a sale six to 12 months ahead of launching a sale process. Now is the time for a sale to close in 2023. The trends driving consolidation in the metal recycling industry will continue to be present for the foreseeable future. Continuing to grow its leadership team, information technology asset disposition (ITAD) company  Apto Solutions , Atlanta, has announced the addition of Fred Reynaud as chief revenue officer (CRO). Responsible for all revenue generation processes at Apto, Reynaud will run the direct and indirect account management and business development teams, driving alignment between sales, operations, marketing and finance. For 30 years, Reynaud has excelled at developing high-performing sales and service organizations and channel and strategy teams for large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent software vendors. At EMC and later Dell Technologies, both headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, he was a versatile leader driving teams across several business units, including federal, enterprise, strategy, consulting and channels. He now joins Apto to champion the company’s vision for circularity and other areas, fueling tits ambition for greater growth. “Since I first met with Apto, I’ve been impressed with the leadership team and their overall vision for ITAD sustainability,” Reynaud says. “They’ve been at the forefront of helping customers minimize their emissions and e-waste by monetizing their aging assets­—doing it better than anyone else because of their people, processes and intellectual property. As CRO, I’ll bring experience, focus and perseverance in driving IT hardware solutions for a large OEM.” Established in 2001, Apto Solutions is known for its leadership in sustainable ITAD and its Pulse platform —a tool that enables clients to track their assets and see in real-time the amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved from reuse and recycling activities with Apto. These savings can then be easily factored into a company’s broader environmental, social and governance efforts. As a result, Apto has emerged as an award-winning ITAD solutions leader, trusted by financial and technology companies, as well as OEMs for data destruction, value recovery and sustainable asset disposition that avoids landfills. In Reynaud, Apto has found not only an industry veteran with invaluable business ties but a believer in its sustainable mission. “Fred has spent his entire career selling IT services to Fortune Global 500 companies, navigating the needs of these businesses at the highest possible level,” Apto CEO Jeffrey Jones says. “It’s crucial that we bring those capabilities and knowledge to the ITAD industry. With research indicating that the ITAD market is currently valued at over $20 billion, we think Fred is a perfect fit for helping us use his sales and account management techniques to help us take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. With his skills, we’ll have an enormous impact and encourage a new era of circularity in the ITAD industry.”

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