Representative Jared Huffman (CA) and Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) recently reintroduced the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, a sweeping but common-sense approach to addressing the plastic pollution crisis. Based on prior legislation first introduced in 2020, this bill represents the most comprehensive plan ever on behalf of the federal government to protect our waterways and communities from the tidal wave of plastic pollution.
Will you take a moment to urge your Member of Congress to support this crucial bill?
Hundreds of million tons of plastic are created every year, and, unfortunately, that number is poised to grow. In spite of this glut of production, only about 10% of plastic will be recycled. It begins to explain why so much plastic pollution ends up in our waterways and other places it doesn’t belong.
Making matters worse, the facilities that convert petroleum and fracked gas into plastic compounds release a host of other toxic pollutants into waterways and fenceline communities. Plastic production facilities also push massive quantities of plastic pellets and other plastic particles into waterways through mishandling and stormwater discharge, affecting not only the water quality, but also the recreational and cultural uses of our shorelines and waterways.
If passed, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act would control the discharge of plastic production chemicals and plastic pellets, such as nurdles and other pre-plastic materials entering waterways. If passed, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act would control the discharge of plastic production chemicals and plastic pellets, such as nurdles and other pre-plastic materials entering waterways. It would also compel EPA to conduct a full review of the toxic chemical and solid waste pollution potential for discharges to waterways from plastic production facilities, direct the agency to revise effluent limitation guidelines, and ensure that the best available technology applies to existing plastic production facilities. All of these outcomes are necessary to better protect communities that are currently bearing the brunt of the toxic impacts and environmental injustice of plastic.
We have the chance to address this crisis. Join us in demanding Congress take action today.
The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act would also:
- require large corporations to take responsibility for their pollution;
- establish source reduction targets for single-use plastic products and beverage containers;
- create a nationwide beverage container refund program, which has been successful in 10 states;
- limit the export of plastic waste to other countries that are unprepared to manage it;
- reduce or ban certain single-use plastic products;
- establish grant programs to support reusable and refillable products; and
- pause construction of new plastic facilities until critical environmental justice and health protections are put in place.
We must act today to confront the mounting plastic pollution crisis!
Your support can help turn this legislation into a reality. Contact your Members of Congress today in support of this historic legislation.