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On Earth Day, let’s shape this plastic-free future together

by Kate Melges

April 21, 2020

On Earth Day, let’s use this time to plan together to create the world that we want to see focused on people, the planet, and communities breaking free from plastic.

Hannah Testa, Youth Environmental Advocate, speaks at an event to introduce the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.

As the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, I am inspired by Greenpeace supporters who are modeling how we can come together as a community to support and protect each other and the planet.

I want to challenge us to use this fierce solidarity to reflect on what changes in our system are possible and to imagine what type of world — free from plastic pollution — we want to create when this crisis is over and lives begin to return to normal.

After this pandemic, there will be a power grab by industry elites to rebuild the world they want. We can’t let the oil industry — makers of plastic — lobby us back to the status quo of rampant single-use plastics. Right now, we as a society have more power than ever to restart our world to focus on the values that have united us together during this crisis: sustainable systems of resilience and an equitable economy for everyone.

The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act is a pioneering first step towards getting us to a society free from industry-pumped plastic pollution.

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Plastic pollution is destroying our planet, our oceans, and disproportionately impacting low income and communities of color. As the fossil fuel industry doubles down on plastic as the new frontier for petrochemical production, we must do everything in our power to shape a new future that isn’t crafted by these powerful multi-billion dollar industries. We must work together to create a sustainable economy that doesn’t leave anybody behind. And we must break free from plastic pollution to make this vision a reality.

A just transition free from plastic pollution must work towards a circular economy that embraces reusables and delivery systems built on safe and sustainable sanitation systems. In order to support that vision, we need to pass strong national legislation that holds corporations and plastic producers accountable for the plastic crisis. Add your support today to the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.

On Earth Day, let’s unite together.

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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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