A Voice for Our Ocean

STATEMENT: Proposed Chemical Recycling Facility Will Perpetuate the Plastic Pollution Crisis

English Español Français Deutsch Italiano Português русский বঙ্গীয় 中文 日本語

CHICAGO, IL – Today, Ocean Conservancy, the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) and the Alliance for the Great Lakes (AGL) hosted a press briefing on Illinois HB1616, which would  extend the timeline for the building of a chemical recycling facility in Will or Grundy counties that bypasses the IL EPA permitting and review process. Dr. Anja Brandon, Ocean Conservancy’s associate director of U.S. plastics policy and an environmental engineer who has helped draft landmark state and national legislation regulating plastic pollution in recent years, issued the following statement:

“Pyrolysis, gasification and other chemical recycling technologies are just fancy ways of saying ‘burning plastics for energy,’ a process that emits greenhouse gases and countless toxic chemicals that harm the environment and surrounding communities.

“By rushing HB1616 to a vote, industry is attempting to clear the path for chemical recycling in Illinois, locking us into infrastructure and systems that are designed to be wasteful. Relying on chemical recycling technologies encourages industry to continue to extract fossil fuels, produce virgin plastics, and burn them to keep this vicious cycle going. Instead, we must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, produce less plastic, and ensure that the plastics we do produce are actually recycled.”


A full recording of the briefing can be found here and accessed using the passcode a68e*Yhp

An Ocean Conservancy fact sheet on chemical recycling can be found here.


Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

Back to Top Up Arrow