Congress: Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021
by Kate Melges
March 25, 2021
The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act was just reintroduced today with strong updated language to uphold environmental justice and to hold big plastic polluting corporations accountable for the plastic crisis.
© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace
Under a new Congress, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act was just reintroduced today with strong updated language to uphold environmental justice and to hold big plastic polluting corporations accountable for the plastic crisis.
More than 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, drowning wildlife and wrecking ecosystems. The cost to human health has also been enormous, especially in Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities where the majority of petrochemical facilities and plastic-burning incinerators are located. These frontline communities experience the worst impacts of toxic fumes being spewed along the entire plastic lifecycle!
The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 is strong legislation to tackle this crisis. The comprehensive federal legislation would begin to phase out throwaway plastics made from fossil fuel, hold the plastic industry responsible for its waste, and pause construction on any new plastic-making plants. And with a new administration and a new Congress, the political will is on our side to make this historic legislation to tackle plastic pollution law!
Plastic—which the petrochemical industry makes out of fossil fuels— is also more than a pollution issue. Plastic 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.
The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 will address the plastic pollution crisis and protect our communities and wildlife to create a healthier, more equitable future for us all 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
- Prohibit plastic waste from being exported to developing countries
- Placing a moratorium on new and expanding plastic facilities until the Environmental Protection Agency updates and creates vital environmental and health regulations on those facilities.
Many of you have already called on President Biden to act on plastic pollution, The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 is the next strategic step to attack the crisis in the legislature. However, to make this legislation law we need YOU to let your members of Congress know that constituents want action on plastic pollution and for corporations to be held accountable for their role in polluting for profit.
If you want to see federal legislation to combat our plastic crisis, send your members of Congress a message today to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.
Thank you for taking action.
Kate Melges, Greenpeace USA
Senior Plastics Campaigner