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In a world the place plastic manufacturing is ever-increasing and single-use plastic gadgets are the norm, it’s not shocking that plastic air pollution is a major environmental issue. Instead of being the nation with the highest per capita rate of plastic waste technology, the United States may grow to be a frontrunner in lowering plastic air pollution and managing plastic waste. A federal invoice, offered to Congress in March 2021, seeks to assist us do this.
Each yr, greater than 350 million metric tons of plastic are produced worldwide. Right at its inception, plastic creates air pollution. Plastic manufacturing generates poisonous emissions that soiled the air we breathe and the water we drink. It releases cancer-causing chemical compounds that may have a detrimental impact on human well being.
A majority of the manufactured plastic finally ends up as litter, ultimately making its technique to marine ecosystems the place it wreaks environmental havoc. Not solely do plastics accumulate within the meals chain and kill aquatic animals, however in addition they pose seen bodily threats. More than 700 animal species find yourself consuming or getting tangled in plastic. Victims embody sea turtles, fish, and whales.
And not surprisingly, people now have fairly a little bit of plastic in our our bodies. According to a 2019 study, the typical individual ingests about 5 grams of microplastics per week (about as a lot plastic as a bank card) by way of meals, water, and even the air we breathe.
Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act
The U.S. Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA) goals to deal with our plastic disaster. Sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Representative Alan Lowenthal of California, the BFFPPA lays out sensible methods to cut back plastic air pollution and create a wholesome, sustainable, and equitable future.
The invoice would enact producer responsibility by requiring companies to gather and recycle product waste and assist enhance our recycling and composting infrastructure. It would additionally create a nationwide beverage container refund program, part out sure single-use plastic merchandise that aren’t recyclable, cease the export of plastic waste to growing international locations that may’t handle it, and much more.
Building on profitable state legal guidelines all through the United States, the BFFPPA has grow to be essentially the most complete set of coverage options to the plastic air pollution disaster launched in Congress. And thus far, more than 2,000 groups and 10,000 individuals have stood behind it.
The act’s supporters are banding collectively to create and help these insurance policies that may change the plastic provide chain for the nice of the surroundings. The purpose is to construct a motion in opposition to plastic air pollution. Legislation that fights petrochemicals, pushes for company accountability, promotes systemic options, and builds zero-waste communities will assist get us there.
How To Get Involved
Supporting the mission of the BFFPPA doesn’t solely come from bigger environmental teams. Individuals and smaller teams are inspired to get entangled, too. Let’s go over some choices for how one can assist.
Join the Movement
Join the worldwide motion in opposition to plastic air pollution by signing up on the Break Free From Plastic website. Signing up offers you entry to helpful BFFP assets to be taught extra concerning the imaginative and prescient behind the motion. You may also be a part of organized plastic-fighting campaigns or actions (nearly or domestically) and even begin your individual.
After you signal as much as be a part of the motion, it is possible for you to to attach and collaborate with different green-minded BFFP members from around the globe. You’ll additionally be capable to simply sustain with the most recent information surrounding plastics by subscribing to BFFP newsletters.
Reduce Plastic Use
The complete level of the BFFPPA is to alter the world’s relationship with plastics. Individually, you may assist by lowering your individual private plastic consumption. You can accomplish this in a variety of methods, together with:
- Avoid single-use plastics
- Check if an merchandise’s packaging is recyclable earlier than buying it
- Opt for merchandise produced from recycled relatively than virgin plastic
- Bring reusable luggage when purchasing
- Shop native (native merchandise sometimes use much less plastic packaging)
Contact your representatives and ask them to help the Break Free From Pollution Act. Take it a step additional and phone different local lawmakers to make them conscious of the BFFPA. Write to your governor, state consultant, or mayor to ask them to implement zero waste insurance policies and techniques, like a ban on plastic bags. You may also create petitions in help of eco-friendly laws and flow into them all through your group.
Share the Plastic-Free Message
Perhaps the simplest technique to help this motion is to share it. Whether you may have an enormous social media platform or a small offline buddy group, you may assist others perceive the significance of this plastic-free motion. Share the BFFP web site and different plastic-related assets with them and check out explaining why you care concerning the motion. Download the BFFPPA social media toolkit for wording and pictures to assist clarify the issue and the way we will help. You may even host a screening of The Story of Plastic, a documentary about plastic air pollution and the reality behind plastic recycling.
To be taught extra, watch #breakfreefromplastic’s video about how plastic air pollution impacts environmental justice:[embedded content]