National Academy of Sciences report urges U.S. to reduce its contribution to plastic waste crisis

by Perry Wheeler

December 2, 2021

Greenpeace responds to NAS report on U.S. plastic pollution

Washington, DC – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a report detailing the U.S. contribution to the plastic pollution crisis and urging a national strategy to address the problem. The report finds that U.S. contributions to plastic production and waste are “outsized compared with other nations.” The report lays out six intervention stages to help address the pollution crisis, including reducing plastic production and innovating design and materials to develop substitutes that can degrade more quickly, more easily be recycled, or be reused.

In response to the report, Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar said:

“This report is spot on that the U.S. needs to develop a comprehensive strategy to tackle its massive contribution to the plastic pollution crisis, starting with reducing plastic production. We cannot solve this issue if we allow fossil fuel companies to continue to churn out more and more single-use plastics each year. Not only are plastics polluting our oceans and communities, they are devastating throughout their entire lifecycle, contributing to climate change and harming air quality for people nationwide. To address this crisis, the U.S. must prioritize an immediate reduction in the amount of plastic we produce and a shift toward refill and reuse.

“Recently, the Biden Administration announced that it would support a global plastic treaty. This was a positive step in the right direction, but it must be followed with real urgency and the prioritization of impactful solutions. We are not going to turn the tide on plastics by listening to industry lobbyists that want to keep us locked into decades of increasing plastic production. It is time to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act in the U.S. and implement a strong global plastic treaty that reduces plastic and moves us toward reuse.”


Contact: Perry Wheeler, Senior Communications Specialist, P: 301-675-8766

Perry Wheeler

By Perry Wheeler

Perry Wheeler is a senior communications specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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