Steve Russell

About Steve Russell

Vice President, Plastics Division | American Chemistry Council
Author Archive: Steve Russell
Earth Day 2018

Earth Day 2018: To Fix Plastic Pollution, We Need to Solve the Right Problem

This Earth Day will bring a variety of enthusiastic calls for cleaner oceans. Plastics makers share and welcome that enthusiasm, because no one wants oceans full of plastics. And to effectively turn awareness into meaningful results, it’s worth being clear about how plastics are getting where they shouldn’t be. Where do ocean plastics come from? […]

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Grocery Cart

There’s a Reason We Use Plastics to Package Food

This week, a grocery store in Amsterdam made headlines for being the first to offer an aisle without plastic packaging. If the thinking behind this offering is “less plastic is better in the grocery store”—then we need to ask: In what way is this really a good thing? And we need to be clear about […]

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Using plastics means less waste in the first place

Governments. Businesses. NGOs. Everyday citizens. Today, many of us are taking important steps to help reduce waste and protect our environment. I think we can all agree that’s a very good thing. But earlier this week, the Editorial Board at the LA Times called for California to phase out all “single-use” plastics.  This was a […]

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Some good news on recycling

There’s been a lot of negative news coverage on recycling. And while plastic recycling markets face serious challenges, there are areas that are making significant strides. One of those areas is plastic film recycling. Earlier this month, I spoke with PlasticsToday about plastic film recycling, including industry initiatives that are helping to grow the recovery […]

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A dip in plastics recycling. Now what?

This year on America Recycles Day (November 15, #BeRecycled), there’s a lot of discussion about challenges facing the recycling industry. A recent example: the 2016 dip (2.4%) in plastic bottle recycling, which reversed twenty-five years of growth and a five-year compounded annual growth rate of 2.1%. So, what happens when an enterprise that has seen […]

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Protecting our heroes with high performance plastics

This has been a difficult year for the many Americans who have experienced wildfires and storm-related flooding. So it’s also a fitting time to honor the heroes who put their lives on the line to protect us. They run into burning homes, brave floodwaters, battle raging wildfires, and help stop epidemics. To honor those who […]

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More plastic, less waste? Yes. Seriously. 

A new study in the journal Science Advances looks at the “Production, Use and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made.” We welcome this new study, and the opportunity it provides to context to the important discussions around plastics’ growth and post-use management. Let’s start with a fact that might be counter-intuitive: plastics are highly efficient […]

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Marine litter: Let’s stay focused on solutions

Earlier this week I had the privilege of speaking at the German Mission during the United Nations’ “The Oceans Conference.” The conference was designed to advance implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use our oceans, seas, and marine resources. And this obviously includes our shared goal of keeping plastics out of […]

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Plastics-to-fuel turns “waste” plastics into a valuable resource – while saving other resources in the process

A new study by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy, found that converting non-recycled plastics into diesel fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 14 percent, water consumption by up to 58 percent, and traditional energy use by up to 96 percent compared to diesel production from traditional […]

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How can we fix our nation’s infrastructure problems? Put competition to work

Virtually every day in the U.S., we are flooded with more and more reports about growing problems with the nation’s crumbling water infrastructure. While the problem was first brought to the public’s awareness in Flint, water systems are failing in countless other cities, from Cleveland, to New Jersey, to Massachusetts. Now, we are seeing more […]

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