48 Organizations Urge the Lockport, NY, Industrial Development Agency to Reject Using Public Subsidies to Produce Single-Use Plastics
The Company Is Seeking $600K to Produce Single-Use Plastic Packaging and Utensils
For Immediate Release: September 13, 2023
Alexis Goldsmith, AlexisGoldsmith@Bennington.edu, (260) 444-1341
Judith Enck, JudithEnck@Bennington.edu, (518) 605-1770
Beyond Plastics joined 47 organizations in a letter to the Lockport, New York, Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Board opposing a plastic company’s application for public subsidies to build a new production facility for single-use plastic packaging in Lockport. SRI CV Plastics Inc. originally applied to the board for financial assistance to produce single-use plastic packaging and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic pipes. A public hearing on the project was held on July 13, 2023. In a letter to the IDA board dated August 14, 2023, the company stated it no longer intended to work with PVC but would instead use “polyethylene, polypropylene, and/or polystyrene” and “suitable” shredded plastic waste to produce food packaging and utensils. The groups stated this is still an unwise investment.
“Our reasons to oppose subsidizing single-use packaging are straightforward. It’s a bad investment that would be contrary to the New York Climate Law and the NY Department of Environmental Conservation Solid Waste Management Plan, which calls for reducing single-use plastic packaging,” said Alexis Goldsmith, organizing director for Beyond Plastics. “New York state has already banned polystyrene takeout containers and plastic bags. A statewide bill is pending to drastically reduce plastic packaging, Assembly bill 5322-a and Senate bill 4246-a, introduced by the environmental committee chairs in both houses of the legislature. Single-use packaging is on its way out in New York.”
"The Lockport community faces many risks from contamination of past industrial uses as demonstrated by the Eighteenmile Creek Great Lakes Area of Concern,” said Chris Murawski, executive director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York. “Why would the community want to spend taxpayer money to subsidize an industry that could bring more potential risks of contamination to soil and drinking water? Public subsidies would be better spent on safer, more sustainable operations that provide more holistic long term economic benefits.”
“The Lockport IDA should reject this proposal. Strike 1 was the company wanting to use polyvinyl chloride plastic, made from the toxic chemical vinyl chloride. Strike 2 was their submission of an AI-generated summary of a non-existent scientific paper to a public body. Strike 3 is coming back with a request for public subsidies to produce massive amounts of single-use plastic packaging that will not be reused in any way. This ball game is over, and the Lockport IDA should reject this proposal,” said Judith Enck, former EPA regional administrator and current president of Beyond Plastics.
There is little municipalities can do with most plastic packaging except burn it in incinerators or landfill it, causing major pollution problems. New York taxpayers spend hundreds of millions annually to export plastic waste to other communities to deal with. Single-use plastic contributes to climate change and props up the fossil fuel industry.
In its application to the Industrial Development Agency, the company is requesting $600,000 in state and local public subsidies to create 20 new full-time jobs over the next two years and five part-time jobs.
This company also submitted to the IDA a “summary” of a University of California study that did not exist; the summary was generated by AI. Submitting a false document to a public body is a significant problem. This was discovered by a SUNY Buffalo professor and not revealed by the company.
The IDA will discuss the company’s amended application at the next board meeting on Thursday, September 14 at 8 a.m. No vote will take place at that time.