The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

ACI Submits Comments on EPA Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution

EPA sign
  • Data collection, consumer education, reducing single use plastics and increasing the availability of post-consumer recycled plastics are essential steps in curbing plastic pollution.
  • EPA should consider the time it takes to transition packaging formats, as well as possible hindrances other EPA regulations could impose on new, more sustainable product formats.

On July 28, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution.

“ACI welcomes the issuance of the Draft Strategy by the EPA as a means to begin to fulfill Section 301 of the Save Our Seas Act 2.0 which required EPA to develop a strategy to improve post-consumer materials management and infrastructure for the purpose of reducing plastic waste and other post-consumer materials in waterways in oceans.”

“ACI encourages EPA’s efforts to identify actions needed to eliminate the release of plastic waste from land-based sources into the environment, and act accordingly. ACI shares EPA’s belief that new and innovative approaches are necessary to reduce, reuse, collect and recover plastic waste materials. As the world continues to move to a more circular economy, ACI believes there are steps that policymakers can take to improve our recycling systems and encourage the adoption of more sustainable practices.”

In comments sent to the EPA, ACI:

  • Detailed which actions are the most important and would have the greatest positive impact at the local, regional, national, and global levels, including data collection, consumer education, reducing single use plastics and increasing the availability of post-consumer recycled plastics.
    • Packaging is essential to the safe use and transportation of cleaning products.
    • Agreed that reducing plastic waste and increasing the circularity of packaging is of the utmost importance.
  • Cautioned that transitioning to new packaging formats takes time and may not be applicable for all product categories in all markets. Single-use packaging ensures important anti-contamination properties that may not be guaranteed from certain reuse/refill systems. Non-plastic substrates may not be feasible for all cleaning products, and in fact may be necessary for some reuse/refill applications. EPA should allow consumer good product companies to evaluate which packaging formats offer the best environmental benefits, and make sure that adequate time is allowed for the transitions that do take place.
  • Urged the Agency to consider that new product formulations that meet goals associated with reuse and circularity may then be hampered from entering the market due to EPA’s slow-moving process for the review of new chemicals. The Agency could consider streamlining the review process, especially for new chemistries or formats that meet certain sustainability attributes, in order not to prevent the U.S. market from adopting more sustainable product formats and chemistries.

Read the association’s complete comments here.

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors.  ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.