Breaking free from plastic pollution, US contribution to global ocean plastic waste

Breaking free from plastic pollution, US contribution to global ocean plastic waste

In the report Reckoning with the US Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste by the Committee on US Contributions to Global Ocean Plastic Waste and published in 2022 by the National Academies Press, analysis shows that the US produces more plastic waste than any other nation, generating about 42 million metric tons yearly which is about 130kg per person. The US plastic waste production is almost twice as much as China and more than all the countries in the EU combined.

With this, the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) and the Office of Justice and Ecology of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US are asking the US Senate to pass the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2023 and stop the toxic cycle of plastic production and pollution and curb the entry of plastics pollutants throughout the supply chain.

The proposed legislation amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act and reduces the production and use of certain single-use plastic products and packaging, improves the responsibility of producers in the design, collection, reuse, recycling, and disposal of consumer products and packaging, and prevents pollution from consumer products and packaging from entering into animal and human food chains and waterways.

As ISN explained in their campaign: “That’s equivalent to the weight of 210,000 blue whales. Recycling systems are not equipped to process this enormous output. Instead, much of our plastic trash pollutes waterways and food chains, endangering ecosystems and human health. As Christians, we are responsible for the care of our neighbors and our common home.”

For more information, please go to Ignatian Solidarity Network.

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