WASHINGTON – A coalition of more than 550 organizations, including the American Sustainable Business Council, today released its Presidential Plastics Action Plan urging President-elect Joe Biden to take eight key executive actions to solve the plastic pollution crisis. These actions would foster a stronger U.S. economy by encouraging resilient circular economy business innovations and solutions and reducing the severe costs that plastic pollution is wreaking on our national and global economy.
The plan advises using federal purchasing power to curb single-use plastics, tightening regulation of the petrochemical industry, ending fossil fuel subsidies, enacting a moratorium on new plastics production facilities, and improving environmental justice by protecting vulnerable communities from pollution.
The plan responds to the plastic industry’s aggressive expansion of facilities using the country’s oversupply of fracked gas to make throwaway plastic that fills our oceans, landfills and landscapes, contaminating food sources and disrupting essential natural processes. Petrochemical-plastic projects also harm frontline communities with toxic air and water pollution and worsen the climate crisis overall.
The Presidential Plastics Action Plan includes specific steps Biden can take as part of eight priority actions, including:
1. Use the purchasing power of the federal government to eliminate single-use plastic items and replace them with reusable products;
2. Suspend and deny permits for new or expanded plastic production facilities, associated infrastructure projects, and exports;
3. Make corporate polluters pay and reject false solutions;
4. Advance environmental justice in petrochemical corridors;
5. Update existing federal regulations using the best available science and technology to curtail pollution from plastic facilities;
6. Stop subsidizing plastic producers;
7. Join international efforts to address the global plastic pollution crisis through new and strengthened multilateral agreements;
8. Reduce and mitigate the impacts of abandoned, discarded and lost fishing gear.
“Plastics and the fossil fuels they’re made from are contributing to a global catastrophe. The more than 250,000 responsible businesses we represent stand ready to work with the Biden administration to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic,” said David Levine, president and cofounder of the American Sustainable Business Council. “Together, we can overhaul how we design, manufacture and distribute our products, transitioning from single-use and toxic plastics to a circular, sustainable economy that creates new business opportunities and more jobs.”
“As we think about our impact on future generations, it’s imperative that the consumer packaged goods industry takes action on plastic,” said Joey Bergstein, CEO of Seventh Generation. “Seventh Generation has shown that concentration is a real path to plastic reduction and that we can, and must, look to plastic alternatives for packaging. We urge the industry to follow.”
“States across the country understand the extreme cost of the single-use plastic pollution crisis and are enacting laws to stop it,” said Sharon Rowe, CEO/founder, Eco-Bags Products, Inc. “It is time for our federal government to get involved and stop funding and supporting new plastics production facilities.”
“Systemic change and infrastructure development are needed to break America free from its destructive addiction to single-use plastics,” added Michael Martin, CEO of r.Cup & Effect Partners. “The good news is that solving this challenge and embracing a circular economy is a proven fuel for innovation and job creation. While non-profits and start-ups like r.Cup are working to create these solutions, the government needs to turbocharge its pace of development to match the need of this enormous crisis.”
For a full list of supporting organizations, click here.
This post was originally published on Radio Free.