I am deeply, deeply concerned about plastic pollution.
As you likely know, the US is the second-largest driver of total plastic waste generated annually, only slightly lagging behind China. According to the EPA, we produced almost 36 million tons of plastic waste in 2018, more than 90 percent of which was landfilled or burned. That plastic breaks down into microscopic particles that seep into everything we touch, drink, eat. It's in Arctic snow, mountain soils and can be blown across the world.
The impact is enormous. Studies reveal that levels of microplastics we ingest daily cause cell damage, including cell death and allergic reactions.
Not only does plastic pollute our oceans, but plastics are made 99% from fossil fuels. And manufacturing plastic from fossil fuels often happens in low-income communities of color, it disproportionately harms Black and brown residents.
The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act (S.984/ H.R.2238) would address this, and other key parts of plastic pollution, by shifting responsibility for waste management and recycling to manufacturers and producers, setting up a national beverage container refund program, establishing minimum recycled content standards, phasing out certain single-use plastic products that aren’t recyclable, prohibiting plastic waste from being exported to developing countries, and placing a moratorium on new and expanding plastic facilities until the EPA updates and creates vital environmental and health regulations on those facilities.
We can’t continue to treat our land, waterways, and oceans as dumping grounds for our plastic waste. Please do everything in your power to pass the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act! Thanks.
▶ First sent on January 18, 2022 by Jessica