This Is Plastics: New PLASTICS Report Finds GSA’s Proposed Rulemaking to Limit Single-Use Plastics Will Have Direct, Indirect Economic Impacts


New PLASTICS Report Finds GSA’s Proposed Rulemaking to Limit Single-Use Plastics Will Have Direct, Indirect Economic Impacts

Initial findings indicate the profound impact GSA’s proposed rulemaking to limit single-use plastics will have on the U.S. economy.


According to initial findings from an economic analysis performed by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), the General Services Administration’s proposed rulemaking to limit the federal government’s purchase of single-use plastics would have a profound impact on the U.S. economy, both directly and indirectly.

The main findings of the analysis include the amount that GSA spends on plastics packing directly for either its own operations or the operation of other agencies (e.g., the U.S. Government Publishing Office to wrap books and publications), the implied sales output of plastics packaging in the U.S. from indirect purchased made by GSA vendors, and the U.S. jobs supported.

  • Between federal FY 2019 and FY 2022, the GSA spent between $198 billion and $453 billion per year on procuring services and goods from the U.S. economy.
  • Of that, the GSA spends around $2 million per year directly on plastics packaging materials according to expenditure data by NAICS from USAspending. The definition of “plastics packing materials” used here includes the IMPLAN sectors for “plastics packaging materials and unlaminated film and sheet manufacturing,” “polystyrene foam product manufacturing,” and “plastic bottle manufacturing.” The direct purchases within the NAICS codes associated with these three IMPLAN sectors makes up the “direct” impact of GSA spending.
  • In addition, from FY 2019 to FY 2022, the GSA spent between $385 million and $749 million per year indirectly via through vendors. GSA vendors have supply chains requiring a certain amount of plastics packaging in the manufacture of goods, packaging, and distribution. Service vendors, such as engineering firms, also use packaging for their operations.
  • GSA’s direct and indirect expenditures on plastics packaging has a substantial impact on employment and sales output in the plastics packaging sector, the sector’s suppliers, and induced employee expenditures. Direct and indirect GSA spending on plastics packaging supports up to 1,800 jobs in the plastics packaging sector and up to 7,400 through the entire U.S. economy depending on the fiscal year as shown in the below table.

Employment impact of direct and indirect GSA plastics packaging spending on U.S. jobs (units)

In addition to employment impacts, GSA’s spending on plastic packaging has supported approximately $450 million to $900 million in GDP, $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion in output, $60 million to $115 million in federal tax revenues, and $40 to $80 million in state and local tax revenues as shown in the table below.

Macroeconomic impacts of GSA spending on plastics packaging (2022 $ millions)

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