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Episode 111: Talking Advocacy, Science & Advanced Recycling (Transcript)

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[00:00:00] Liz Bothwell: Hi everyone, welcome to Waste360's NothingWasted! Podcast. On every episode, we invite the most interesting people in waste recycling and organics to sit down with us and chat candidly about their thoughts, their work, this unique industry and so much more. Thanks for listening and enjoy this episode.

[music] 

[00:00:27] Liz: Hi everyone. This is Liz Bothwell from Waste360 with Joshua Baca. He's Vice President of the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council. Welcome, Joshua, and thanks for being on the show today. 

[00:00:40] Joshua Baca: Liz, thank you so much for having me. I'm really looking forward to having this conversation with you.

[00:00:44] Liz: We normally start in the beginning, could you share a little bit about your background and how you ended up at the American Chemistry Council?

[00:00:52] Joshua: Yes, I'm happy to. My background is different and unique, probably than most people you speak to on this podcast. I did not have a career that began working with plastic manufacturers or the plastic industry. I got a break when I was about 20 years old. I got an internship to come to D.C. to work on Capitol Hill and I never left. My career really started in government and politics. I worked on Capitol Hill for about five years, I guess, or so.

Started off working as an intern, eventually made my way up the chain, started doing some of the policy work and it was a great experience. Being able to see governing, functioning, and working in the Hall of Congress was definitely quite a unique experience. But what I quickly realized was, I was never much of the policy wank that comes with Capitol Hill. I also think that policymaking on Capitol Hill has changed so dramatically since I was there. I decided to take a different route and got more into the political space working for the member of Congress at the time on the reelection campaign, and then unsuccessful run for the US Senate.

Then I moved into the public affairs communications consulting world before I joined now Senator Romney's presidential campaign in 2012. In that capacity, I worked across the US on our political team, largely on coalition building, bringing together a variety of stakeholders in diverse geography and diverse backgrounds on a variety of different policy and communications initiatives on behalf of the campaign. Obviously, that campaign was not successful.

I went back into the public affairs space. I think the time after working for Governor Romney's campaign were probably the most formulative of my career. Just in the sense that working a presidential campaign changes your life, and the kind of career direct trajectory I was on, the networks you make, the people you come in contact with, the mentors that you find along the way that you didn't really think of as a mentor at the time when you look back on them, really transformed my career in so many levels.

I went back to the communication, the consulting business, for several more years. Had a really successful run, largely working with brand companies and retailers on a variety of issues on taxes, trade, regulation, and a whole lot of other issues. It was such a great experience that I looked very fondly upon that. Then I took a different route. Several years ago, I joined the American Beverage Association where I didn't even come in with the mindset of working on issues of sustainability.

I came in largely to help guide their public affairs and their communications and came in at a time when they were preparing to launch a sustainability initiative around plastic issues and plastic waste. Long story short, we launched a hundred billion dollar initiative called Every Bottle Back. It was through that process that I became an expert in some regards to plastic issues by default. One, largely because the in-house expertise was relatively limited. You had to get up to speed on these issues really fast and understand a lot of the dynamics because they're complicated.

I would admit today that I'm not even the deepest expert when it comes to some of this stuff, but I really cut my teeth in that piece. It was a great experience. Then, to put a bow on it, opportunity presented itself to join the American Chemistry Council. Here I am, almost a year later leading the Plastics Division and it's been such a great experience as well. One that I've really thoroughly enjoyed.

[00:04:59] Liz: What an interesting journey. All those pieces seem to fit together, even though you didn't realize it at the time.

[00:05:07] Joshua: Yes, it really did. If you even go back a little bit further in my life, if I really think about the lucky break I got in my career, and it was really not my career at the moment, but when I was 16 years old, I applied to be a United States Senate Page for my home town senator. Never had an intention of actually getting that pageship. Lo and behold, I got that pageship, and I came to Washington D.C. as a sixteen-year-old to serve as a Senate Page for an entire spring semester.

It was in that moment, when I think back at it, that it was my initial run into government and politics. Then, eventually, I'd be back five, six years later as an intern and then staying on as a staff member. All of those things really tie together. It's funny because one individual who was one of my mentors at the time, he worked in the cloakroom when I was a Senate Page. Now works for, I guess, another association or another firm and we still run into each other. He's about maybe 10 years older than me, and we still remain in contact. It's a really small world on how all of these things come together.
[00:06:26] Liz: Amazing that you had the wherewithal to go in that direction at such a young age. That's amazing.

[00:06:32] Joshua: I would say, I wish I could tell you. I'll definitely tell my kids a different story that I had it all thought out. Most of it, I would say, was really by accident. The Page thing was not anything I ever really seriously considered when I did it. But then I got it and then the next thing I knew, was six weeks later I had to move to Washington. Same thing when I got the internship. I was having a great time in college and I was working as an ambassador with the private office, doing a lot of stuff on campus, helping recruit students.

Lo and behold, I got a scholarship to come for an entire semester to work in D.C. as an intern, again, almost by accident. Those things, I look back on them and I do remember the effort I put into getting them, but it was never one of those things where I was losing sleep at night that I needed to get these things, that they were going to define my life in some way. In many ways, in retrospect, they really did.

[00:07:29] Liz: Awesome. What a great story. I'd love to hear that. Now you're at American Chemistry Council, can you tell me more about what the organization does and your work in it?

[00:07:41] Joshua: Yes, it's a great question. I'm happy you ask it because I don't even think before I came here that I fully appreciated the depth and the breadth of the American Chemistry Council. I think that in the Washington speak, there are a lot of associations for a lot of things. There are associations, I think, who exists because they have whatever their mission and purpose is, and then there's others that existed to do big things, is how I would say it.

I've worked with a variety of associations, particularly in my consulting world and I think that the ACC falls into the ladder of wanting to do big things. That was really attractive to me when I got recruited for the job. Our industry represents the chemical manufacturers across the US. It's like a five hundred billion dollar plus industry, and ACC itself is a massive organization that focuses on a variety of different issues within that space. I lead the division that focuses on the chemical manufacturers who make plastic resin.

Our entire division is almost-- a simple way to think about it, is almost an association within an association. We have an equivalent of our own board, our members, our own budgets, our own dues. We have a committee that sets our priorities just as any board of directors would for any association. Our job in the plastics division is to lead on issues of advocacy through collaboration and innovation. It's really what our mission is. We have a variety of areas that we're focusing on.

Sustainability and circularity, obviously being front and center here. When I view what my job is at the ACC in particular, is one, being ardent advocate for our member companies and the great work that they're doing. Two, is making sure that we lead with solutions to some really big problems and challenges that the world faces. Three, we are at the forefront of defining what the solutions are and what's our vision, what's our mission to solving some of these world challenges. I really take that to be a serious obligation in my job. Those three things on a daily basis really do drive me.

We got great companies, they do some really fantastic, and innovative work. Companies that folks might not have ever heard of, people are probably aware of companies like Dow, and Exxon Mobile, and maybe even LyondellBasell, but there's a whole host of other companies, [inaudible 00:10:21] [unintelligible 00:10:23], Celanese, big company that do really, really innovative stuff and are really at the forefront of leading on this new era of innovation and manufacturing in the US.

It's a really exciting time, to be honest with you, for the industry right now, both in regards to our long-term vision on where we want to go, but also just in the immediacy of the challenges that are presented before us in our work to try to solve something.

[00:10:54] Liz: Definitely. I love to hear how clear your mission is, and how that guides you every day. Like you said, the current state of everything, and as plastics is really on the world's radar now more than it has ever been. What do you think about this additional attention being paid to plastics?

[00:11:12] Joshua: Look, I think it's a very important issue, and I think our company, and our industry would be the first to admit that we do have a plastic waste challenge, that does not necessarily mean that we have a plastic problem. I think our company, and me in particular, divert all of our energies almost on a daily basis to implement solutions to deal with the issue of plastic waste.

It's a solvable issue. It's an issue that requires a tremendous amount of collaboration, and no one industry alone is going to be able to solve it. I think that issue of collaboration is one that's really critical. We have a role to play in it, government has a role to play in it. Waste management companies have a role to play in it. Consumer brands have a role to play in it. Consumers have a role to play in it. The plastics value chain has a role to play in it.

I think we view our job of trying to bring all of those diverse stakeholders together to develop practical and real-world solutions to some of these challenges. I think that's where our focus is. We should absolutely be appalled by the plastic waste issues that have happened, and they have been saying, but it's a solvable problem. One that we're making a tremendous amount of progress on, and one that we're very committed to working on as well.
[00:12:30] Liz: That's great to hear. What are your thoughts on the current state of recycling in our country?

[00:12:37] Joshua: I would think there's definitely room for improvement here. We have recycling systems that probably were designed several decades ago. We live in an entirely different world, both in how we consume goods and how the world operates. First off I think, recycling is broken, it needs improvements, and it needs to be modernized to reflect the 21st century economy that we live in.

I think sometimes critics of recycling, and even critics of our industry will point to that the problem can't be solved because recycling is broken, and recycling is a component of solving the problem, but it's not the only component here. I think with some improvements to the way our recycling system works would be a very positive first step. I can give you a few examples right now. There are 9,000 recycling jurisdictions across the US that do 9,000 different things today. I live in Fairfax County in Alexandria, and I sometimes can't even keep up with the changing dynamics that happen here. 
 
If I remember correctly now, glass bottles are [unintelligible 00:13:53] to go in our recycling bin. If I'm correct, my friends who live in Arlington county, which is a few miles from here, I believe they are able to now put glass bottles in their bin. In an area like this, Arlington and Alexandria, it's very interchangeable.

I could drive five minutes away, and be in an entirely different county with entirely different friends, and what [inaudible 00:14:15] I put in the bin at the consumer might not be the same as what I'm allowed to put in my bin at home. Some modest improvements on education, on standardization, on some minimum standards. I think would go a long way and making sure that the system works today, and works to meet the demand that it's faced or the 21st century. 

I think the other thing though is when I say, recycling isn't the only thing. Recycling is a means to the end. There's a variety of other things that we need to do. Our industry takes it very seriously on our design, and making sure that the products we designed are designed for recyclability. I think that's one. Two, I think we take very seriously the need to collaborate with stakeholders to solve some of these problems.

Recycling isn't simply limited to men and women who drive trucks up and down our neighborhoods to collect them. I think it requires a tremendous amount of collaboration with a variety of stakeholders to achieve that. I think with some slight improvements here, and some modernization we would actually call on the government to help make this better, and make the system work for what it needs to be today.

[00:15:29] Liz: Absolutely, and to your point, it takes all stakeholders, too. It's an infrastructure issue; there's a lot to really dig into there. Talk to me about advanced recycling. Tell me more about that, and what role you think that could play in improving recycling as a whole in our country?

[00:15:48] Joshua: Advanced recycling is a unique solution to dealing with plastic waste. What I think of what the role advanced recycling is, it's going to revolutionize how we deal with our resources, and how we solve one of the biggest pressing challenges that we have when it comes to plastic waste.
Advanced recycling for plastics is another form of recycling. Not to get too wonky, but what it basically does is it's a variety of- the term advanced recycling really covers a host of different technologies that different companies use, and at the very basic level, what this does is it breaks down plastic waste, particularly the hard to recycle plastic. Your pouches, your bags, the container that maybe some of your food came in, things that aren't really your jugs and your bottles that are traditionally known to be recycled today.

It breaks it down to the molecular level, it creates a feedstock that our companies can use to make new plastic with less resources, and it really does create that infinite circular loop that we're trying to achieve here in the US. I think for your listeners, when you think about what advanced recycling is, it's really a remanufacturing of used plastics into new products. It isn't that different than what mechanical recycling does today, and I think the best way for your listeners to think about this is it really picks up where mechanical recycling leads off.

It's not either-or, we're not in competition with mechanical recycling. Our companies are invested in both, and there is a role to solving this issue with both mechanical, and advanced recycling. There's a lot of work that needs to be done in the US to scale up the work that advanced recycling, and the promise that has, but we're seeing that with a variety of our companies. Companies like Braven, Brightmark, and Agilex are doing some really cutting-edge stuff when it comes to dealing with issues of plastic waste.

Several of our companies have made really large commitments to using more recycled plastic in the products that they create and in the material that they supply. I think what advance recycling does is it really helps us live up to the words that we're saying about our desire to create a more circular system for plastic by ensuring more types of plastics can recycle. 
[00:18:17] Liz: That makes sense. Joshua, what do you say to the folks who really don't support mechanical or advanced recycling for one reason or another? Do they need more education, more information?

[00:18:28] Joshua: I think it depends on who that is. My first reaction would be is that, definitely more education here, and more education in the sense that helping people understand the importance of recycling. Again, recycling is not the end all be all to everything we do, there are a whole host of other components that need to go on here.

Scaling of technology, modern regulatory framework, collaboration, a lot of the things I mentioned, but recycling is a means to the end to get into that point. What I would say to people is, if you're serious about, protecting the environment, if you're serious about addressing a whole host of issues like climate change, and plastic waste. Our ability to utilize it the resources that we have more efficiently, both through mechanical, and advance recycling is something that I would highly encourage them to get on board with. 

[00:19:26] Liz: I read that about a dozen states have passed advanced recycling legislation. Do you think that's going to grow? Also, do you see any commonalities to note within the states who have actually adopted this?

[00:19:38] Joshua: Yes. I think that's going to continue to grow, and I think it's going to continue to grow because we are being very proactive in working with lawmakers across the country in helping them define and understand what advanced recycling is. Us essentially creating a regulatory framework in the states it's to ensure that we could actually scale up the technology needed to capture and recycled more plastic waste to turn it into new products. That's really the purpose of the state work that we've done.

I do anticipate that more states will get on board, and frankly we'll also need action at the federal level. Both in regards to what the EPA has set forth as the recycling goals for 2030, I think they want to increase it by 50%. There will be limits to what mechanical recycling can do to get to that point. Mechanical recycling is part of the solution and advanced recycling picks up to close that gap there. I do see a movement here, lawmakers are interested in solving problems and I think the more states that act on creating this regulatory framework will eventually probably require federal action as well too to ensure that the role advance recycling players recognize as part of the solution.

[00:20:56] Liz: We're talking a lot about circularity. What does a circular economy look like to you and where does plastics fit into it?

[00:21:05] Joshua: Circular economy to me means that we are using our resources over and over again, and using them in an efficient manner to reduce our reliance on essentially raw materials here. When I think about the role that plastic plays, I think we have been clear what our goal is. By 2040, we want all of our plastic packaging to be reused, recycled, or recovered. We outlined a forward-thinking roadmap that brings together a variety of stakeholders to collaborate to get to that goal. We've outlined a set of guiding principles that it really sets the tone for the types of policy that will be needed to get there.
Our companies have made well over $5 billion of investments to modernize both mechanical and implement advanced recycling technologies. We, as an industry, are working on a host of policy solution that deal with a variety of topics that will help us to achieve those goals. We need to use more recycled plastic in our packaging, and I think there's a role to ensure that policy is reflective of that. I think we are need to recognize that our producer responsibility model it's going to be needed to ensure that funding the infrastructure to achieve circularity happen. All of these things have to happen through a level of collaboration here.

Those are the things that we're working on and how we think we achieve that circular economy that everyone talks about, but I think more importantly, what we need to do as an industry, and what I encourage all of my colleagues and everyone who works at ACC, is words like circularity and sustainability are great sounding words. Now it is our job to help people understand what these things actually mean. A circular system means that we are utilizing our resources better and keeping waste out of the environment.

A sustainable economy means that our industry is playing a huge role in ensuring that we have a low carbon future that we want. That we are supplying the material that's needed to lightweight vehicles or build the next generation of electric vehicle batteries. That we're using a plastic foam installation to make our buildings and our homes more energy-efficient. That we're using plastic packaging as a means to keep our food fresh and reduced waste that is a huge driver of climate change.

I think of what those two things are, we can really get caught up in the industry jargon or the Washington DC talk. We need to do a better job collectively as an industry in explaining what these things mean to the average person that I think when we do, people will appreciate what we're trying to do, get on board, and support some of the things that we're advocating for.

[00:23:56] Liz: Absolutely, that's where we are. I think the industry as a whole, I put you in that as well, we've reached that tipping point where now it's time for action, and that's the direction we all need to roll in. It's good to hear that you believe that as well.

[00:24:12] Joshua: It's absolutely a time for action, and I don't think it's no longer acceptable just to talk about what we want to do or what we think we can do, we need to show action in what we're doing. All of the work that we're working on in the plastics division is geared toward leadership and action. That's what our goal is. We're trying to bring stakeholders together, we're trying to develop policies that address these issues, we're working with our companies on a variety of issues that don't require government whether it's design, or private sector investment, or partnership.

We have an opportunity here where we have pressing challenges, whether it's plastic waste or the issue of climate, and we can't sit around and talk about it anymore. It's a time for action, it's time for industries and stakeholders to step up to the plate and do something. I think that's what we're doing on a daily basis.

[00:25:04] Liz: That's great to hear. Are you seeing more brands using recycled content? What do you think works in getting them to do that more? Is it the standards? Is it other things? Their own ESG and sustainability goals? What do you think?

[00:25:21] Joshua: Well, I think right now, there's two things I would take to this. First off, consumers are demanding that there is more recycled content or more recycled plastic in their material that they use, whether it's packaging or other stuff. Consumer, one, I think has been pretty clear on the need for that. Second thing is that a variety of consumer brands, I think well over 400 have already made commitments to use recycled content, recycled plastic in their packaging or their containers all by date certain.

I think our job is to ensure that through a host of things like the scaling of advanced recycling in particular that we can help brands meet those commitments. That's already happening, I think everyone has a widespread agreement on the need for that to happen. Now, is there a role for government to play when it comes to the use of this? Yes, I would say so. There's definitely an appropriate role here to ensure that there's appropriate accountability, appropriate oversight, and that companies who make investments to ensure that more recycled plastic is using packaging that they can see those investments through. I think we have been working with our companies on some of these issues, and you'll see in the coming weeks and through the summer a lot more proactive proposals on how to deal with some of these issues.

[00:26:49] Liz: That'll be interesting to watch. What do you think lies ahead around policy? I know you have quite the background. I would love to hear your thoughts because I know there's a lot happening out there, whether it's a plastics pact or a global treaty, and then some of the smaller EPR things within each state. Where's it all headed? [laughs]

[00:27:15] Joshua: Yes, that's a great question. I would say a couple of things. There's a lot of stakeholders doing a variety of different things. There's a lot of policy issues that really could impact a variety of stakeholders. You mentioned a couple here and I'll take them head-on. The U.S. Plastics Pact, very much appreciate what they're working on, their goals and their objectives. They have a mission and they have a purpose that they're trying to ensure that we keep waste out of the environment, that our resources are used more efficiently. We support all of that.

What we would say to the U.S. Plastics Pact is that's fine opportunities for more collaboration to solve the waste challenge that exists. I think that should be the front and center issue that they're working on, and we stand ready to work with them on those issues. When it comes to issues like global treaties on plastic, that's a very problematic proposal. People may not realize and think what this could mean for them, but I think global regulation of the production of modern plastic materials would be highly problematic for our economy and highly disruptive to supply chains, not just in the US, but across the world.
We do support a global treaty that deals with the issue of solving the plastic waste problem, and that treaty should ensure that investment occur to help countries build up the waste management capacities that they need to do. People are going to probably be shocked to hear us say that, but we do, and I will reiterate that, we support a global agreement that deals with the issue of plastic waste, and that should be the focus of these efforts. When I think about where we're headed over the long-term, I don't think there's any doubt in my mind that policy is going to continue to be front and center on how we deal with these issues.

There's a variety of proposals out there, some good, some bad, some that we support, some that we don't support. You mentioned the issue of extended producer responsibility. Not all types of EPR systems are created the same. There are EPR proposals at the state that had broad support from industry stakeholders, a variety of key players that we need to make the system work. I would point you [unintelligible 00:29:30] I testified there a few weeks ago in favor of a proposal that had broad bi-partisan collaborative industry support here. There are other proposals that seek to implement EPR systems that could adversely impact the plastics industry, and don't have a lot of support right now.

The reason I would raise that is I think there's going to be a moment here to address some of these issues from a public policy perspective, and I think the playbook has shown itself to be very clear what that entails. We saw last year a Republican president, a Democratic Senator, and a Republican Senator come together passing a law to Save Our Seas Act 2.0. That is the template of bipartisanship to deal with these issues. Issues of plastic waste don't know boundaries, they don't know partisan politics. Issues of climate also don't know any of those boundaries.

The key here is looking to build consensus, bringing people together on solutions that are practical and implementable, and ensuring that they are bipartisan and have broad support to deal with these issues. There are very problematic proposals out there that opponents will say that it's an issue to address the issue of plastic waste, but when you dive into the intent of their legislation and how it's written, it does actually very little to deal with plastic waste.

On the reverse of that, I think from a policy perspective, our companies are also very excited about opportunities that exist. The president has outlined a very ambitious infrastructure agenda. I'm talking about ushering in the next generation of mobility and making our buildings more energy-efficient, rebuilding infrastructure. Our companies will play a huge role in helping us achieve that vision. Plastic as a whole is a net positive for the environment. It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It's better for the climate than any other material out there. That's why automakers use it to lightweight their vehicles. That's why the building construction utilizes it to insulate our homes and our buildings.

We'll play a very key role in helping implement that vision that the president has outlined, and I know both parties are working to [inaudible 00:31:46] in Congress. I like to think about the future as being very bright when it comes to policy.

I think it's very bright in the sense that we know that collaboration can deal with the issue of climate and we know that collaboration can deal with the issue of plastic waste. It is that model that I think we're going to divert our energies to ensure that that happens.

[00:32:06] Liz: That makes sense. It's what you said about some of the unintended consequences of some of the policies that are out there that people might not understand and how it will affect the supply chain going forward. You're right, plastics is often made the enemy, it's the villain, but you have to look at what good it has done in the world and how hard it would be to actually take out of the system. I've spoken to so many people who have worked on removing the ocean bound plastics out of developing nations and they have to use certain plastics there.

It's all that they can afford. There's one piece of that. The waste pickers over there, it is their future from an economic standpoint. Those kinds of things have to be taken into account before plastics is really looked at as the villain. I think, like you said, you can do both. You can still fight against plastic waste and ocean-bound waste while also knowing the good that it can do. That was a great description. Thank you for that.

[00:33:16] Joshua: Look, give you another even real-world example. Think about the last year, what we've been through in the last year. Our life has been turned completely upside down. We had to change our behaviors, government assets to make a tremendous amount of sacrifices. If we think about the role that plastics played in helping us get through the pandemic, it might not even be recognizable to some people.

The masks that we were required to wear were made from plastic material. The vaccines were transported in polystyrene foam cooler to ensure that they remained cold as required. The syringes to give those vaccines happen, all the takeout food that we ordered to help local restaurants came in plastic packaging. Several government agencies said that plastic packaging was one of the safest ways to avoid the transmission of germs and a variety of other things to protect our food and keep our people safe.

I traveled across the US for the first time. I guess it was late March and early April. My wife, my daughter, and I, we took a trip to California. My brother-in-law retired from the Navy. The best part about it is we stopped in New Mexico to see my mom for the first time in almost 15-16 months. It's been a while. That whole trip was so mind-blowing to me on so many ways. Having a three-year-old toddler and having to prepare for that trip is already just a cluster in so many ways.

The sanitizer that we carried on the plane was in a plastic bottle. The water that we bought at the airport to fill up our containers witwas in a plastic bottle. All of my daughter's food and snacks was in plastic packaging. The material that they gave us on the plane to wipe up and dispose of our areas, all made of plastic material. It was very telling to me that we don't need people to give us a pat on the back, that these things make their lives better, but I think it is important for stakeholders who advocate for adverse policies without understanding what those unintended consequences are understanding what these things really mean. That's why I say, and I'm very deliberate in my words, we need real-world practical solutions to deal with these issues.

[00:35:35] Liz: Definitely, and collaboration is key as always. What are you and ACC paying attention to now? Beyond what we've already talked about, what's next? What's on the horizon?

[00:35:48] Joshua: That's a good question. There's a lot on the horizon. The challenges that we face and the opportunities that exist at the state, federal, and global level, I think will continue. I think most of our energies will continue to be focused there. We view our mission in, I would say, somewhat of a narrow focus, but also on a very important focus. Our association exists to advocate for our member companies. When I think about advocacy, that means policy, that means communication, that meant brand reputation. That's what we do on a daily basis.

The political environment can come and go and shift. Parties will gain power and change, and there'll be a new priority that will emerge as things happen in the 24/7 news cycle. That's where our laser focus will continue to be, is ensuring that we advocate on behalf of our industry. That people understand the story behind it, that we support policies that make a difference and implement solutions and that we're there having a seat at the table to ensure that we shaped what the future looks like.

[00:36:57] Liz: That's great. So clear. I love that and everything you have shared has been so clear and descriptive. Thank you for that. Is there anything else you want to share before I let you go?

[00:37:08] Joshua: I would say this, and I think this is a really important thing for your listeners out there who might have impressions, or maybe don't have impressions about what our industry is. I would highly encourage you to spend some time and appreciate the value of the work that we're trying to do in both making our lives better, but also solving some really big global issues. We've got a great website called Americasplasticmakers.com that outlined some of the things that we're working on and some of the solutions.

Talk is cheap. I can sit here and talk to you all day about how great our companies are. I encourage your listeners to go on that website and see some of the real-world commitments and solutions that our industry is doing to solve both issues of climate and issues of plastic waste.
[00:37:51] Liz: That's awesome. I can't wait to see where else you go. They have a great leader in place, so congratulations.

[00:37:57] Joshua: Thank you. Thank you so much. I've enjoyed talking to you. I got to say, my time at ACC feels like I've been here nine years. I've only been here not even a year. I think I'm going on nine months, but I have been just blown away by the level of engagement from our companies, their desire to solve problems, their desire to collaborate. When you're in my type of role, these are the types of things that you always want an industry to be doing. I'm pretty excited about where the future lies for this industry, and for our association, and for our division. I would encourage you to stay tuned in because I think you'll see some more big things happening over the next couple of months.

[00:38:42] Liz: That's awesome. The momentum is definitely heading in the right direction, so it's exciting to watch.

[00:38:48] Joshua: Yes. I appreciate it. Thank you so much for your time and thank you to your listeners for having me. I enjoyed the conversation. If I can ever be of help, please let me know.

[00:38:56] Liz: Thank you.

[00:38:57] Joshua: That was great. Thank you so much.

[00:38:58] Liz: Have a great day. Bye, Joshua.

[00:38:59] Joshua: [inaudible 00:38:59].

[00:39:01] Liz:  Thank you for listening. It would mean the world of you would take a moment to rate or review this podcast. If you share it with us on one of our social networks, we are giving out some fun NothingWasted! Podcast swag. Just tag us and see what you get. Thanks so much.

[music] 

 

TAGS: Plastics
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