ree From Plastic at the Capitol

Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act in the United States

From the Action Network:

The petrochemical industry and the pollution it creates disproportionately harms people of color and low-income communities. Every year, the United States alone burns or buries in landfill 32 million tons of plastic, impacting the health, wealth, and well-being of frontline and fenceline communities.

In fact, the U.S. produces the most plastic waste per capita of any country, and exports much of this waste to the Global South. An astounding 91% of plastic is never recycled.

350 million metric tons of plastic are produced globally each year, and 15 million metric tons wind up as plastic waste in the world’s oceans.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA) builds on successful statewide laws across the country and outlines practical plastic reduction strategies to realize a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable future.

Plastic—which the petrochemical industry makes out of fossil fuels—contributes to climate change at every step of its life cycle, from extraction to refinement, manufacture, transportation, disposal, and waste. Breaking free from plastic would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen climate resiliency.

Plastic disproportionately harms low-income communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities by polluting their air, water and soil. Breaking free from plastic would uphold environmental justice by halting the development of new plastic facilities until necessary health and environmental regulations are updated and established.

Plastic is toxic, and includes 144 chemicals or chemical groups known to be hazardous to human health. Microplastic particles are so pervasive in our food and water that the average person ingests a credit card’s worth of plastic (5g) every week. A recent study even documented microplastic particles in maternal human placentas. Breaking free from plastic would protect human health and improve fertility, helping ensure our survival as a species.

This legislation seeks to meaningfully address the plastic pollution crisis by:

  • Shifting the financial burden of waste management and recycling off municipalities and taxpayers to where it belongs: the producers of this waste;
  • Spurring massive investments in domestic recycling and composting infrastructure;
  • Phasing out certain single-use plastic products that aren’t recyclable;
  • Establishing minimum recycled content standards;
  • Launching a national beverage container refund program to bolster recycling rates;
  • Placing a temporary pause on new and expanding plastic facilities until the Environmental Protection Agency updates and creates vital environmental and health regulations to protect frontline and fenceline communities;
  • Prohibiting plastic waste from being exported to developing countries;
  • Require a compressive analysis of the scale of fishing gear losses by domestic and foreign fisheries, including an evaluation of the ecological, human health, and maritime safety impacts of derelict fishing gear, and recommendations on management measures;
  • And more proven policy solutions!

Tell your representatives it’s time to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 for the health and future of humans, animals, waterways, oceans, and the environment.

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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