April 16, 2018

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Bill to Turn Plastics into Fuel Signed into Law

MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after 2017 Assembly Bill 789, authored by Senator Cowles and Representative Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc), was signed into law by the Governor:

“Today’s action opens Wisconsin’s doors to an innovative process that has the potential to divert tens or even hundreds of thousands of tons of non-recycled plastic each year from landfills and transform that plastic into valuable commodities like gasoline, waxes, and lubricants. Pyrolysis and gasification not only represent an exciting opportunity for businesses, consumers, and local governments, but this process also presents a more responsible reuse of our natural resources.”

Under Assembly Bill 789, pyrolysis and gasification facilities convert post-use, non-recycled plastics in an oxygen-free or oxygen-deficient and low emission process into valuable commodities such as oils, fuels, waxes, lubricants, and chemicals. This bill clarifies that pyrolysis and gasification facilities are defined and regulated as manufacturing facilities and not as solid waste disposal facilities which are subject to a timely, costly, and burdensome process that other manufactures do not have to endure. AB 789 does not interfere with the regulation of often-contentious waste-to-energy facilities that burn waste, nor does it interfere with the regulation of existing solid waste facilities. 

“Last month, an Ohio-based company announced a partnership with BP to convert 100,000 tons of plastic waste into 16 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel each year at a new facility in Northeast Indiana. Once operational in 2019, the facility is expected to create 136 manufacturing jobs. During the Senate and Assembly hearings, we heard from industry leaders who said companies like this are prepared to come to Wisconsin upon the passage of Assembly Bill 789. Now that this bill is signed into law, Wisconsin is ready for the opportunity to create hundreds of jobs in this pro-business and pro-environment industry.”