Today, Waterkeeper Alliance applauded Representative Jared Huffman (CA) and Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) for reintroducing the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, emphasizing the legislation’s sweeping but common-sense measures to address the plastic pollution crisis.
Some highlights of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act include: new safeguards to control the discharge of plastic production chemicals and plastic pellets, such as nurdles and other pre-plastic materials, from entering waterways; compels the EPA to conduct a full review of the toxic chemical and solid waste pollution potential for discharges to waterways from plastic production facilities; creates a moratorium on new or expanded permits for certain facilities until regulations are updates; and limits the export of plastic waste to other countries.
In response, Marc Yaggi, CEO of Waterkeeper Alliance, issued the following statement:
“Today, we commend Representative Jared Huffman and Senator Jeff Merkley for reintroducing the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. This crucial legislation is a critical step to addressing the out-of-control plastic pollution crisis, and if passed, will make real progress in protecting public health and clean water.
The fossil fuel industry contributes to the nearly half a billion tons of plastic produced each year and it’s expected to increase in the decades to come. To make matters worse, just a small fraction of plastic is actually recycled. The reality is: the vast majority of plastic ends up in our communities and waterways – destroying our natural resources, impairing public health and threatening critical biodiversity. Plastic pollution is much more than littering. It’s a slow poisoning of our waterways and communities. The facilities that convert petroleum and fracked gas into plastic compounds discharge numerous toxic chemicals that are known to pose serious risks to our health and safety and increase harmful emissions. Waterkeeper Alliance stands in solidarity with the many frontline and fenceline communities experiencing the impacts of this pollution.
Unfortunately, members of Congress backed by the fossil fuel and petrochemical industry will likely do everything possible to prevent the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act from passing. It is now more important than ever that Congress and President Biden stand up to these elected officials and this dangerous industry by swiftly passing this legislation.”
Waterkeeper Alliance will coordinate with members of the Break Free From Plastic movement to advance this important legislation in the U.S. Congress to address the plastic pollution crisis.