A new study has found that since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, our oceans have suffered from a 30 percent increase in the rate of plastics dumped into the water.1
The United States already generates more plastic trash than any other country, and it's more urgent than ever that we stop making (and throwing away!) the worst single-use plastics. Environment Colorado is championing the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, and we need your help to pass it in the U.S. Congress.
With the massive increase in deliveries and take-out dining, plastic production is through the roof.2 Forks, knives, straws, containers -- they're mostly ending up in the trash and the oceans. These plastics are deadly for marine life, including turtles and whales. In fact, all sea turtle species have ingested plastic, because they mistake the smell of plastic for food. And just 12 pieces of plastic can be deadly to the turtles.3,4
If we don't stop this plastic pollution, researchers have estimated that 600 million tons of plastic will clog the oceans by 2050.5 And on its own, recycling isn't the answer. Less than 9 percent of plastic has ever been recycled, and recycling plants have been hamstrung by COVID-19.6 To really address the plastics problem, we must get polluters to clean up their plastic waste, and we need to phase out the worst single-use plastics. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act will begin that critical work.
Our national network has helped lead the charge to ban polystyrene foam takeout containers and single-use plastic bags in multiple states, and we're ramping up our work where legislation has yet to pass. But right now, we must convince Congress to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.
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