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Let’s Break Free From Plastic Pollution
Tell Washington why stopping plastic pollution is vital for our quality of life.

During these difficult times the world continues to turn and we continue to pollute.

Congress has introduced a bill that would limit the production and use of plastics and other packaging products.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 (H.R.5845 in the House of Representatives and S.3263 in the Senate) is in response to rampant plastic pollution. 

Tell Washington why stopping plastic pollution is vital for our quality of life. Please write a comment in support of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act and sign your name.


What will the bill do?

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution bill amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to address plastic pollution and other waste more comprehensively. The bill has a number of objectives: 

To reduce the production by making improvements to their design and manufacture

To reduce the of disposable products, 

To improve the collection, reuse, recycling, and disposal. 

Companies creating plastics would be held fiscally responsible for the collecting, managing, and recycling or composting of plastic products.  A minimum percentage of the products must be reusable, recyclable, or compostable. All beverage containers must have an increasing percentage of recycled content in them before being sold to consumers.

The bill calls for a reduction in the manufacture of single-use products. 

The bill includes a tax on carryout bags, and would establish programs to refund consumers for returning beverage containers.

A temporary moratorium would be placed on the manufacturing of plastics until regulations are updated. This would allow manufacturers to transition their practices to meet necessary quality standards for new products to be created from collected, sorted, and reprocessed materials instead of new material.

A national standardized labeling system for recycling and composting receptacles will be set up by the EPA. Producers would be required to include labels on their products that are easy to read and indicate whether the products are recyclable, compostable, or reusable.

A limit on the exportation of plastic waste to other countries would be enforced. This will allow the United States to better track, verify, and publicly report that these products are managed responsibly, even at their disposal.

Sea Turtle and all images by NOAASea turtle and all images by NOAA

Be heard. Tell Congress, today, why you support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.


Why support the bill?

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution bill would significantly reduce the production of these products in the United States. Less plastic production will use less fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas.  Less manufacturing of these single-use and disposable products will decrease greenhouse gas emissions, which is a major driver of climate change.

The bill’s actions would reduce wildlife encounters with plastics and our waste products from ingesting it and being entangled in it. 

The bill will stop plastics and dyes from paper products from getting into waterways, which can then seep into groundwater and drinking water. The prevention of plastic pollution will make the places we care about cleaner, safer, and more attractive.

A Marine Debris team member disentangling a Laysan Albatross chick
Credit: Ryan Tabata 2015

Protect our environment and clean up our places from ugly, harmful, plastic pollution. Join us in urging Congress to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act by adding your voice to our letter.


Who supports the bill in Washington?

As of March 2020, 65 Representatives and 8 Senators support the bill.

Rep. Katherine Clark [D-MA-5]
Rep. Steve Cohen [D-TN-9]
Rep. Mike Quigley [D-IL-5]
Rep. Nanette Barragant [D-CA-44]
Rep. Ed Case [D-HI-1]
Rep. Gerald Connolly [D-VA-11]
Rep. Eliot Engel [D-NY-16]
Rep. Debra Haaland [D-NM-1]
Rep. Alcee Hastings [D-FL-20]
Rep. Jared Huffman [D-CA-2]
Rep. Pramila Jayapal [D-WA-7]
Rep. Ro Khanna [D-CA-17]
Rep. Barbara Lee [D-CA-13]
Rep. Mike Levin [D-CA-49]
Rep. Ted Lieu [D-CA-33]
Rep. Betty McCollum [D-MN-4]
Rep. Seth Moulton [D-MA-6]
Rep. Eleanor Norton [D-DC-At Large]
Rep. Jimmy Panetta [D-CA-20]
Rep. Chellie Pingree [D-ME-1]
Rep. Jamie Raskin [D-MD-8]
Rep. Harley Rouda [D-CA-48]
Rep. John Sarbanes [D-MD-3]
Rep. Janice Schakowsky [D-IL-9]
Rep. Thomas Suozzi [D-NY-3]
Rep. Rashida Tlaib [D-MI-13]
Rep. Nydia Velazquez [D-NY-7]
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA-43]
Rep. Peter Welch [D-VT-At Large]
Rep. Salud Carbajal [D-CA-24]
Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA-19]
Rep. Veronica Escobar [D-TX-16]
Rep. Grace Meng [D-NY-6]
Rep. Raul Grijalva [D-AZ-3]
Rep. Ayanna Pressley [D-MA-7]
Rep. Kim Schrier [D-WA-8]
Rep. Adriano Espaillat [D-NY-13]
Rep. Yvette Clarke [D-NY-9]
Rep. Lloyd Doggett [D-TX-35]
Rep. Mike Thompson [D-CA-5]
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici [D-OR-1]
Rep. Joe Neguse [D-CO-2]
Rep. Bennie Thompson [D-MS-2]
Rep. Joyce Beatty [D-OH-3]
Rep. Stephen Lynch [D-MA-8]
Rep. Frederica Wilson [D-FL-24]
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman [D-NJ-12]
Rep. Katie Porter [D-CA-45]
Rep. Anna Eshoo [D-CA-18]
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier [D-CA-11]
Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR-3]
Rep. David Trone [D-MD-6]
Rep. Rick Larsen [D-WA-2]
Rep. Andy Levin [D-MI-9]
Rep. Susan Davis [D-CA-53]
Rep. Ilhan Omar [D-MN-5]
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester [D-DE-At Large]
Rep. Antonio Delgado [D-NY-19]
Rep. Suzan DelBene [D-WA-1]
Rep. Daniel Kildee [D-MI-5]
Rep. Joseph Kennedy III [D-MA-4]
Rep. Peter DeFazio [D-OR-4]
Rep. Derek Kilmer [D-WA-6]
Rep. Madeleine Dean [D-PA-4]
Rep. Jesus Garcia [D-IL-4]
Sen. Jeff Merkley [D-OR]
Sen. Cory Booker [D-NJ]
Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]
Sen. Richard Blumenthal [D-CT]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA]
Sen. Kamala Harris [D-CA]
Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT]
Sen. Bernard Sanders [I-VT]

Is your Congressional Representative or Senator listed as a co-sponsor?  If they are, please recognize and thank them for their support. They may use your comment to persuade others to support the bill. 

Where We're Working On This
Let’s Break Free From Plastic Pollution. See where we're actively working on this.

How You Can Help
The Ocean River Institute provides individuals around the world with specific opportunities to make a difference saving wildlife, protecting ecosystems, in environmental education, science, and conservation.