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What’s At Stake in 2020: A Plastic-Free Future

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act will continue to languish in McConnell’s graveyard until we elect environmental champs in the Senate and a POTUS who will sign this legislation into law.

by Kate Melges

October 28, 2020

Plastic pollution is destroying our planet and disproportionately impacting low-income and Black and Brown communities. We must do everything in our power to shape a new future that isn’t crafted by these powerful multi-billion dollar fossil fuel industries.

© Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

During the pandemic, we have witnessed the plastic industry taking advantage of COVID-19 to scare people about the safety of reusables in order to sell more single-use plastics. This rhetoric helped to temporarily repeal plastic-bans across the country and jeopardized our hard-fought progress with corporations to reduce single-use plastic. This type of predatory behavior by Big Plastic hits home at the urgency to pass strong national legislation to tackle the plastic pollution crisis. In this election, a plastic-free future is at stake.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act is this strong legislation. The pioneering federal legislation introduced earlier this year already exists and is a real comprehensive solution to the plastic crisis. Yet, it will continue to languish in McConnell’s graveyard until we elect environmental champs in the Senate and a POTUS who will sign this legislation into law.

Plastic pollution is destroying our planet, killing treasured marine animals, and disproportionately impacting low-income and Black and Brown communities. 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 the only way to achieve this is WE must elect strong environmental leaders — that aren’t in bed with big polluting corporations — to support The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act to make this vision of tackling plastic pollution a reality.

make a plan to vote

A world free from plastic pollution will not exist without strong bedrock legislation, like The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, that holds corporations and plastic producers accountable for the plastic pollution crisis. The first step toward this vision is to VOTE OUT senators who benefit from Big Oil lobbying and the status quo of rampant single-use plastics. And instead, VOTE IN pro-environment leaders that will champion new solutions for a plastic-free world and will use their political will to fight for this future:

  • A future where a reuse and refill economy built on safe and sustainable sanitation systems to support reusable to-go containers and cups is safe to use even during times of a health crisis.
  • A future where breaking free from plastic creates strong union jobs based in a new, resilient Green economy.
  • A future where justice and the health of frontline communities living in petrochemical production zones are prioritized over pumping out plastic for profits.

More than ever before, this election determines the future of our planet. Voting is the most important high impact advocacy that Americans can take right now to ensure that we have elected officials who will fight hard for a plastic-free world. This won’t be possible without a strong pro-environment Senate and administration, and the stakes are too high to wait another term to fight back against plastic pollution on a national scale.

make a plan to vote

As the deadline for voting approaches, we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure that you, your friends, family, neighbors, and every environmental voter has their voice heard before the polls close. Our “What’s at Stake” series highlights a key issue that’s on the ballot. If you haven’t voted yet, now is the time. If people in your circle are on the fence, please share this post or have a conversation with them today.

 

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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