Lake Erie Sierra Club chapter takes stand against IRG plans

International Recycling Group (IRG) plans to build a plant for processing waste plastic on a 25-acre “Opportunity Zone” site between East 10th Street and East Lake Road. The site was owned by International Paper (IP). The plant will have a sorting facility that IRG calls “recycling” waste plastic products.

Lake Erie Group, Pennsylvania Sierra Club Chapter, opposes building the plant.

The Lake Erie Group, Pennsylvania Sierra Club Chapter, has about 800 members in northwestern Pennsylvania. Many live in the neighborhood of the IP site or on the east side of the city of Erie.

Breaking the mold:An in-depth look at how Erie-based IRG wants to change plastic recycling’s future

This is an artist's rendering of International Recycling Group's proposed Erie recycling sorting facility.

Lake Erie Group’s position: The benefits that IRG claims would accrue to the community and the environment if its plant were built, even if accurate, are heavily outweighed by the foreseeable long-term human health costs and environmental damage of operating the proposed plant. Therefore, Lake Erie Group, Pennsylvania Sierra Club Chapter, opposes building the plant.

The Sierra Club’s position on the continued extraction of fossil fuels is clear. Plastics are produced from feedstocks refined from the production of oil and gas: “There are no ‘clean’ fossil fuels. The Sierra Club is committed to eliminating the use of fossil fuels, including coal, natural gas and oil, as soon as possible. We must replace all fossil fuels with clean renewable energy, efficiency and conservation.”

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