Today the House of Representatives approved H.R.
Global Movement Fights Plastic Pollution
Scientists predict that without urgent action there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Yet, despite the danger that plastic pollution poses to our planet and to human health, industry and governments have so far failed to face up to the systemic change required to solve the issue.
That’s why a network of 100 NGOs, including EarthShare members Surfrider Foundation, Clean Water Action, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, and Oceana, just released a groundbreaking new global vision for a future free from plastic pollution.
The vision’s includes 10 principles that represent the first step in a global movement to change society's perception and use of plastics.
Some of these principles include prioritizing waste reduction; building a materials lifecycle that sustains the health of the people and the planet; and working with producers and workers to change the system.
"This is the first time that groups from all around the world have come together to find a common solution to plastic pollution,” said Monica Wilson from GAIA. “It shows the evolution of a movement that is pushing governments, cities and major companies to solve this ever-growing problem. This isn’t just about managing the problem. It’s about preventing it in the first place.”
The environmental impacts of plastic pollution are well understood. A significant amount of plastic production is for single-use disposable applications. Nearly a third of plastic packaging escapes collection systems and winds up in the oceans. Once there, sunlight and ocean currents shred plastic debris into smaller particles called microplastics, which attract and concentrate toxic chemicals up the marine food chain and into our bodies.
Plastic is also a human rights issue. Increasingly, consumer goods companies sell goods wrapped in plastic into markets without waste management systems that can adequately handle the materials. In the US, most plastic ends up in incinerators and landfills, endangering nearby communities, which are frequently low-income communities and communities of color.
It is clear that without strong and coordinated effort by policy makers, businesses will continue to use plastic indiscriminately and the pollution will intensify.
“For years, the plastics industry has been telling us that all plastics are recyclable, but what we find in the field demonstrates that we can not recycle our way out of the plastic pollution problem,” said Martin Bourque, Executive Director of the Ecology Center who runs the United States’ longest-operating curbside recycling program.
We call on US corporations and governments to lead the way to a future free from plastic pollution. We also stand in solidarity with people around the world who are implementing real community-based solutions.
To learn more, visit http://breakfreefromplastic.org/.
[ Wilderness Society opposes Utah public lands bill passed by House committee, asks President to designate Bears Ears region of Utah as a national monument ]
With very few legislative days left in the 114th Congress, this bill has no chance of being adopted and would do too little to protect wild, cultural and historic lands, including the critically important Bears Ears area.
[ Poll of Taos County voters finds overwhelming support for recreation access and expanded protections for New Mexico’s public lands ]
EMBARGOED until Sept. 22, 2016
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has revived her ongoing attack on Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge by introducing a bill (S. 3204) that would force construction of a road through a designated wilderness area.
The guidance requires climate change science to be included in environmental analyses for individual projects, such as oil and gas development, on public lands covered under the National Environmental Policy Act (known as NEPA).
One year ago today, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management released historic conservation plans that would help conserve the sagebrush ecosystem, the over 350 species that call it home and the imperiled sage-grouse.