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Plastic Free Future: Holiday Wish List

by Kate Melges

December 20, 2020

As we look towards next year’s campaigns, here's our holiday wish list of what we want to accomplish with our Greenpeace supporters in 2021.

© Matt Mead / Greenpeace

All the Greenpeace Plastic Campaign wants for the holidays is YOUR continued activism fighting for a plastic-free future.

As we look towards next year’s campaigns, we’re making a holiday wish list of what we want to accomplish with our Greenpeace supporters in 2021. And we can’t start checking that list off fast enough. The United States is facing a plastic pollution crisis that is impacting the planet and our communities at every level of single-use plastics lifecycle.

Beyond big plastic producing corporations poisoning our oceans and killing marine life with plastic waste, the fossil fuel industry — makers of plastic — are fueling the climate climate crisis and harming Black, Brown, and frontline communities living in petrochemical extraction zones.

This is our BIG THREE holiday wish list for 2021 because people and planet cannot wait another year to break free from plastic pollution.

1. Hold corporate plastic polluters accountable for single-use plastic reduction goals

Holding retailers and big consumer goods companies accountable for fueling the plastic pollution crisis is always on the top of our list, and 2021 is no different.

After a year of fighting back against the plastic industry’s exploitation of COVID-19 to scare people about the safety of reusables in order to sell more single-use plastic, Greenpeace knows 2021 is the time to safely get back on track to demand big plastic polluting retailers and consumer goods companies commit to major single-use reduction goals and embrace reuse and refill solutions.

We won’t be giving an inch to big corporations who pumped out more and more single-use plastic for profits during the pandemic.

And will go big with the help of Greenpeace activists to push companies, like Coca-Cola and retailers like Target, to set major goals for eliminating single-use plastics in the upcoming year.

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2. Historic federal plastic pollution legislation becomes law

In 2020, The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act — the pioneering federal legislation to hold corporations accountable for the plastic pollution crisis was introduced. This hard fought legislation is the culmination of years of work by Greenpeace activists and allies and throughout 2020 Greenpeace has pushed almost 60,000 messages to Congress calling for its support.

In 2021, we want the The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act to not only garner widespread support in Congress, but become law. And Greenpeace supporters are going to campaign hard until national legislation exists to tackle plastic pollution.

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3. President-elect Biden acts to tackle the plastic pollution crisis

Plastic Pollution

President-elect Biden has promised to be a climate champion, which must include tackling the plastic pollution crisis.

That is why Greenpeace joined a coalition of more than 550 organizations and celebrity activists including Jane Fonda in calling on Biden to commit to taking eight sweeping executive actions in his first year in office to put the US on a path towards a plastic free future.

  • Use the purchasing power of the federal government to eliminate single-use plastic items and replace them with reusable products.
  • Suspend and deny permits for new or expanded plastic production facilities, associated infrastructure projects, and exports
  • Make corporate polluters pay and reject false solutions
  • Advance environmental justice in petrochemical corridors
    Update existing federal regulations to curtail pollution from plastic facilities by using best available science and technology
  • Stop subsidizing plastics producers
  • Join international efforts to establish binding commitments to reduce plastic production and eliminate single-use plastics
  • Reduce and mitigate the impacts of discarded and lost fishing gearAs we fight to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, Biden can also act without Congress to make sweeping action to tackle the plastic pollution crisis. The power of executive authority from the president could transform the economy and would put policy behind our corporate campaigning to hold corporations accountable for plastic pollution.

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The challenges faced in 2020 seemed insurmountable at times. However, thanks to people power we never let the plastic industry derail our progress to break free from plastic, and we fought like hell to strategically position ourselves to go big in 2021 in order to achieve major milestones to hold corporations accountable for the plastic pollution crisis that they helped create.

As we look ahead into 2021, we need to finish December on the strongest note possible. Please consider donating to help support our plastics work in the next year and keep all our campaigns going strong. Donate now to have your gifted MATCHED 3-to-1, up to a total of $950,000 until the end of the year. Make TRIPLE the impact for our planet and our future today!

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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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