Congress: Take Action for Plastic Free July

by Kate Melges

July 6, 2021

For Plastic Free July, let’s ramp up the fight to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.

© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Last month, we raised our voices to urge President Biden to lead globally on tackling plastic pollution by endorsing the Global Plastics Treaty.

This Plastic Free July, let’s channel this powerful campaign back home to demand Congress hold big plastic polluting corporations — like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo — accountable for the plastic crisis by passing the pioneering Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.

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 certain throwaway plastics made from fossil fuels, hold the plastic industry responsible for its waste, and pause construction on any new plastic-making plants. A Global Plastics Treaty will require strong U.S. policy to comply with global agreement terms.

That’s why we can’t hold back on pushing Congress to make this historic legislation to tackle plastic pollution law and pave the way for global action to hold polluters accountable for tackling their plastic pollution!

In honor of Plastic Free July, message your members of Congress TODAY to ask them to support the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act to help tackle the plastic pollution crisis!

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 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

Message your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 today.

This year alone, more than 35,0000 Greenpeace activists have messaged, phoned, and tweeted at our government to STEP UP to hold big polluting corporations accountable and to transform the United States into a leader on tackling plastic pollution. WE CAN’T STOP NOW. Let’s turn up the pressure again to show Congress that national legislation is non-negotiable and we won’t rest until they act!

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act isn’t just the next strategic step in the legislature to hold corporate polluters accountable in the United States, the passage of this bill will create a domino effect across the world. Big U.S. brands — who are also the biggest global polluters — like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, will have to transform their global supply chain to comply with the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.

If you want to see federal action to combat our plastic crisis, send your members of Congress a message today to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.


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Kate Melges

By Kate Melges

Kate Melges is an oceans campaigner based in Seattle. She leads Greenpeace’s Ocean Plastics work. Kate’s focus is ending the flow of plastic pollution into the ocean.

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