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New Survey Shows Broad Public Support for Reducing Plastic Pollution, Improving Recycling, and Holding Manufacturers Responsible

Voters in four states expressed widespread approval for passing legislation to reduce plastic pollution in our communities, on land and in our waters, and ensure that polluters pay for the impacts of their products.

WASHINGTON — A new Public Policy Polling survey of bipartisan voters in Colorado, Florida, Maine, and Washington State finds broad public support for passing legislation to reduce plastic, air and water pollution, improve recycling, and hold manufacturers responsible for the packaging and end-of-life for their product. A large majority (73%) of voters surveyed support passing a law to improve recycling, and 62% of voters are more likely to support the proposal after hearing that it would force manufacturers to take responsibility for their product packaging.  “These findings are completely consistent with the multitude of other public opinion polls that have all shown the same thing: the public is sick and tired of plastic pollution, and they want manufacturers to take responsibility for recycling the items that they make,” said Nick Lapis, Director of Advocacy at Californians Against Waste. “It's time for policymakers and brands to get serious about reversing the out-of-control growth of wasteful packaging and disposable items.” Likewise, 67% of voters who want to improve recycling are more likely to support legislation if it would ensure that our recyclables are not being dumped overseas. “U.S. companies are smuggling waste plastic inside waste paper that we import, and, because we don’t have a good recycling system here, people often wind up burning the plastic,” said Prigi Arisandi, Executive Director of ECOTON. “Developed countries should treat and recycle their own waste in their countries. We demand the governments of exporting countries clean up the piles of plastic scraps that are being dumped in our rivers and drinking water sources for more than five million people.” When asked about a particular law that has been proposed to manage product packaging, a majority (52%) of voters say they are more likely to support the law knowing that it will reduce the disproportionate negative impacts of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color. This shows that economic and racial justice is at the forefront of many voters’ minds. Voters also support laws to reduce related environmental concerns, such as air pollution (70%) which occurs at nearly every stage of the plastic life cycle—from fossil fuel extraction to manufacturing, distribution, and disposal, often via incineration or landfill.  “For many of our environmental justice communities boarding the largest petrochemical corridor in the nation, the refining and production of plastics has significant impacts on our health and well-being. Air quality standards in the greater Houston area need to be regulated,” said Juan Parras, Executive Director of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (T.E.J.A.S.). “Hopefully, the new administration will focus on enforcement of clean air standards throughout the nation.”  Voters also express serious concern about a recent study which found that fifteen million metric tons of plastic pollution enters the ocean every year. 76% and 80% of voters, respectively, would like to see more legislation aimed at reducing plastic and water pollution. Additionally, 79% of those surveyed support passing laws to protect the ocean.  “The equivalent of two garbage trucks’ worth of plastic is entering the ocean every minute, and that's only going to increase with the projected growth in plastic production. Voters are clearly aware of the plastic pollution crisis threatening our blue planet and recognize it's time for government action,” said Christy Leavitt, Oceana’s Plastics Campaign Director. “If we want plastic to stop ending up in every corner of our environment, we need policies to reduce the production and use of this persistent pollutant.” A ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam products was also found to be popular. A majority (57%) of people surveyed say they support a statewide ban on foam takeout containers, while just 26% say they oppose it. “This level of support helps give us winds under our sails as more and more states consider bans on foam products, such as single-use foodware, coolers and packing peanuts,” said Heather Trim, Executive Director of Zero Waste Washington. “Foam foodware is pervasive in the marine environment. When released into the environment, intentionally or accidentally, it is carried from streets and through storm drains out to the ocean where it breaks down into smaller pieces and gets harder and more expensive to clean up,” said Jennie Romer, Legal Associate for the Surfrider Foundation's Plastic Pollution Initiative. “As a result of its very low economic value to recyclers, in addition to food residue contamination, foam foodware is rarely recycled and instead is sent to landfills or incinerated.” “This survey shows that bipartisan support exists for legislation to address many of our concerns about the impacts of our plastic waste,” said Alex Truelove, Zero Waste Director for U.S. PIRG. “That 89% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans surveyed say they support a law to reduce plastic pollution, while 90% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans support passing laws to protect the ocean is highly encouraging. Hopefully our decision-makers will agree.”  “Now more than ever, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we need to understand and acknowledge the seriousness of the plastic crisis,” said Frankie Orona, Executive Director of the Society of Native Nations. “Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to preserving and ensuring a sustainable future. We are meant to coexist with Mother Earth and all living beings, and we are not and have not been doing our part. We need a healthy environment to live so that our children can not only survive, but thrive. The only way to do that is for us to come together as a people.” The #breakfreefromplastic movement is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in 2016, more than 11,000 organizations and individual supporters from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. BFFP member organizations and individuals share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, and work together through a holistic approach in order to bring about systemic change under the #breakfreefromplastic core pillars. This means tackling plastic pollution across the whole plastics value chain – from extraction to disposal – focusing on prevention rather than cure and providing effective solutions. CONTACT: Brett Nadrich, Break Free From Plastic (929) 269-4480 | brett@breakfreefromplastic.org 

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Shifting the Narrative in Asia Pacific

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"] It is quite frequently that we come across articles and papers that declare the Asia Pacific region as the biggest contributor to ocean plastic. Labelling these countries as polluters is both facetious and inaccurate. For decades, Global North businesses have used plastic in their products, packaging, and delivery despite knowing that no feasible and viable ways to collect and process the material post-consumer use exist. Municipal citizens and governments across Asia Pacific have struggled against the disposable plastic deluge. They have had to contend with demands to increase waste management expenditure and foreign aid to install incinerators. Many have felt compelled to resort to false solutions, such as to make roads and various compressed products. There have also been innumerable clean ups and awareness programmes exhorting citizens to put waste in the ‘correct’ bins.  However, it is common knowledge that single use plastic is difficult to collect, especially sachets which are light and small. Post-consumer plastic is often contaminated with food and beverages, mixed with other materials, rendering it impossible to segregate and process. These false solutions have been promoted by the plastic industry to absolve themselves of the responsibility, instead keeping the spotlight on individual consumers. Since its inception in 2016, BFFP has been challenging this narrative. Members across the Asia Pacific region have successfully advocated for policy changes to enhance corporate accountability, instituted new praxis, and spearheaded culture-shifts. Many  members are also actively engaged in promoting alternative solutions such as reusables, zero waste cities, and recentering the discussion on producers.  Aside from the traditional biodegradable packaging, Asia has a rich tradition of reusables. Start-ups are innovating on the types of products and adding attractive nuances to products such as  reusable water bottles to sustainable menstrual hygiene products. Many of our members are leading campaigns to bring consumer awareness around the sustainability of the products that they use.  The Sustainable Menstruation Kerala Collective, for example, works to improve women’s understanding of the consequences of using disposable sanitary napkins on their health and environment. Several members are working with governments and communities to establish zero waste systems. In the Philippines, Mother Earth Foundation’s pioneering efforts have ensured that the zero waste concept is firmly rooted in several barangays and cities, such as San Fernando, saving them millions of dollars in waste management while also generating thousands of green livelihood opportunities.  In India, Swach KKPKP and Chintan support informal waste pickers to secure their right to livelihood and to win public waste management contracts premised on segregation and material recovery. Country-level zero waste alliances in Indonesia and Vietnam, though young, have established impressive policy visions for zero waste cities as well as provided communities with simple, yet effective models and capacity building programmes.  Complementing these initiatives that showcase real alternatives are efforts that highlight the need for greater corporate accountability.  Trash Heroes, a volunteer based organisation working to reduce and clean waste across the South East Asia region has astutely identified that “cleanups on their own are not a long term solution to the problem of plastic waste. For that, we need to go to the source.”  EARTH Thailand and Consumers’ Association of Penang, are among members that have demanded that their national governments create a regulatory framework for extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes. Brand audits have become the most powerful citizen science tool used the world over to recenter the discussion on plastics production and use. While clean-ups can tell us the extent of the problem, brand audits reveal the real polluters - companies that continue to market their products in single-use, disposable plastic. BFFP members, including Ecoton in Indonesia, Ecowaste Coalition in the Philippines, and Greenpeace Thailand have been at the helm of these efforts and many are using this evidence to bolster their campaigns for corporate accountability.  Members across the region are doing what they do best: reduce waste and plastic pollution, and reveal the true polluters and false solutions. What they are doing even better is to reaffirm their commitment for a plastic-free planet, and revive ways of production and consumption that respect our ecological boundaries and intergenerational equity.  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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Environment Groups launch activities for Zero Waste Month

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" background_layout="light"] MANILA, Philippines — Philippine environment groups belonging to the Break Free From Plastic movement launched their activities in the opening of the celebration of the National Zero Waste Month. The Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) is a global movement working towards a future free from plastic pollution. In a webinar held on Tuesday titled “Ang Tira, Gawing Bongga!”, Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner of Ecowaste Coalition, said that the whole country generates over 40,000 tons of garbage per day not to mention the pile up of disposable face masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “After the holiday festivities, we find our bins filled to the brim again as if we are not yet throwing enough throughout the year. This is what we coined as “holitrash” meaning trash that we accumulate from the holiday season composed of disposable food containers, plastic and other packaging wastes, and food leftovers,” he bared. The virtual event talked about Holiday Food Waste Management, Vegan Food Demonstration and Bokashi Technology.“Celebrations need not make the garbage situation worse. By consuming sustainably and by willfully segregating, reusing, recycling or composting discarded materials, we can all be part of the solution. For instance, food leftovers can be recycled and bring on new twists to be utilized again by the households. Biodegradable discards such as fruit and vegetable peelings, can also be composted at home or at the barangay composting facility. These simple ways of managing food leftovers can reduce what is going into the bins or landfills, ” he said. Through Proclamation No. 760 in 2014 by then President Benigno Aquino III which declared January of every year as Zero Waste Month, the celebration also aims to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. “Zero Waste Month is pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 so this is a crucial time to really heighten our call for environmental awareness and action among Filipinos, as well as in the development of national and local integrated, comprehensive and ecological waste management policies and programs,” said Rei Panaligan, National Coordinator of BFFP PH Project. “ We cannot allow business as usual for corporations and policymakers. Let us also bear in mind that we are still in a pandemic and climate emergency thus the celebration of Zero Waste Month is a very important event to call them out to drop the legalization of practices that will continue to pose threats to public health and violate environmental laws such as the continued production and consumption of single-use plastics and garbage incineration in the guise of waste-to-energy plants,” said Sonia Mendoza, Chairman of Mother Earth Foundation. “ We also urge our policymakers to pass sustainable and comprehensive waste management policies and support safer practices that would reduce waste with respect to the Clean Air Act and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act including the international Paris agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ,” added Glenn Ymata of No Burn Pilipinas. The groups said that more activities will be held during the month-long celebration with “Zero Waste” as an advocacy campaign to guide people, businesses, and institutions in changing their lifestyles and practices towards sustainable systems in an ethical, economical, and efficient way, and to ensure that wastes become valuable for other uses.  

For more information, please contact: Geri Matthew Carretero Break Free From Plastic PH Project Communications Officer geri@breakfreefromplasticph.org 09176216901

About BFFP The Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) is a global movement working towards a future free from plastic pollution. The BFFP PH project is a collaboration of #breakfreefromplastic members EcoWaste Coalition, GAIA Asia Pacific, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia, and Mother Earth Foundation in partnership with Oceana International Philippines.

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NGOs call on Environment Ministers of the EU member states to stop the plastic flood

[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.0.47" da_is_popup="off" da_exit_intent="off" da_has_close="on" da_alt_close="off" da_dark_close="off" da_not_modal="on" da_is_singular="off" da_with_loader="off" da_has_shadow="on" da_disable_devices="off|off|off"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"] Dear Ms/Mr Minister, When meeting with your fellow Environment Ministers of the EU Member States on December 17th in Brussels, we urge you to take a decisive stand against plastic waste – hazardous to human health and the environment. Across the EU, an increasing number of disposable packaging and products, some of which are toxic, are being brought to market. At the same time, reusable products represent only a minor share, and high-quality and toxic-free recycling is not gaining any traction. On Thursday, you can progressively shape the Council’s Conclusions on the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and support action that will drive a fast transition to a sustainable and non-toxic circular economy, while ensuring that the EU Recovery Fund spurs such a transition. This includes promoting reusable systems, repair services, sharing models and, safe and high-quality recycling systems. The plastic crisis must be stopped at its source in order to solve the associated risks to human health, environment and climate. To achieve this, the EU waste hierarchy must be implemented in a consistent manner, which can only be done through binding waste prevention targets, reusable quotas and minimum input quantities for recyclates. We need to move away from burning and landfilling plastic. Environmentally friendly and healthy reusable systems, such as reusable beverage bottles, coffee-to-go cups and transport packaging, are being introduced in more and more EU countries. These solutions provide a way to avert the plastic waste crisis and must be promoted throughout the EU. Public Procurement has a critical role to play in achieving a circular economy. EU comprehensive, mandatory requirements for the purchase of reusable packaging, remanufactured products and those which are made from recycled materials, should be established. We call on you and the Environment Council to highlight these requirements in the conclusions for the Circular Economy Action Plan. In order to achieve a non-toxic circular economy, hazardous chemicals should no longer be present in plastics. Recycled plastics should be subject to the same requirements regarding chemicals content as virgin materials. Therefore, we ask you to support the swift implementation of the measures proposed as part of the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, and to ensure the complementarity and consistency of action undertaken under the different strategies and action plans of the European Green Deal. We also ask you to fully support the development of a strong global treaty on plastic pollution at UNEA-5, building on the October 2019 Council conclusions “More circularity – Transition to a sustainable society”. The plastic crisis is a global challenge and does not recognise national borders. We call on you to act decisively to solve the plastic crisis across Europe, implementing these demands! Please send us any questions you may have; we are happy to answer them all. Yours faithfully, the undersigned organizations   [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/ways-out-of-plastic.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" text_orientation="center" text_font="||||||||" header_font="||||||||" custom_margin="70px|||"] www.exit-plastik.de [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/bundesverband.png" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/logo-bund-rgb.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/german-ocean-foundation.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/deutsche-umwelthilfe.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/wecf-international.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/hej-support.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/surfrider-foundation-europe.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/ciel.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/city-to-sea.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/corporate-europe-observatory.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/breakfreefromplastic_square.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="80%" module_alignment="center"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"] #BreakFreeFromPlastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, nearly 1,900 organizations from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. In Europe alone, 90 core organizations are active in more than 30 countries. These organizations share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, which guide their work at the community level and represent a global, unified vision. Sign up at www.breakfreefromplastic.org [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/ekologi-brez-meja-logo.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/environmental-investigation-agency.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/cyprus-friends-of-the-earth.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/gallifrey-foundation.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/global-2000.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/humusz-szovetseg-logo.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/less-plastic.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/lets-do-it-foundation.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/no-plastic-in-my-sea.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/oceana.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/polskie-zero-waste.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/plastic-change.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/plastic-free-potrero.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/recycling-netwerk.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/rethink-plastic.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/sick-of-plastic.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/tnz.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/voice.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/ZERO.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Zero-Waste-Europe.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" module_alignment="center"][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/zero-waste-france.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/zero-waste-romania.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" _builder_version="3.0.98" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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Australian Waste Reduction and Recycling bill

[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.0.47" custom_padding="0px|0px|54px|0px" da_is_popup="off" da_exit_intent="off" da_has_close="on" da_alt_close="off" da_dark_close="off" da_not_modal="on" da_is_singular="off" da_with_loader="off" da_has_shadow="on" da_disable_devices="off|off|off"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"] Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash   AUSTRALIA -- On December 8, 2020, the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill was passed in the Senate without amendment. Despite a senate inquiry into the bill and attempts by the Greens and Labor, the Government refused to allow amendments to the bill that would address plastic pollution and support the recycling sector. “The Federal Government has missed the opportunity to make the deep changes we need in Australia to address the causes of plastic pollution in the global environment and provide the policy support and framework long needed for the recycling sector. More concerning is the failure of the Morrison government to prevent foreseeable and perverse outcomes associated with Australia's waste export ban. National policy documents confirm that the Government intends to support the “reprocessing” of waste for continued export and incineration ahead of investment in the recycling sector, zero waste city models and a circular economy. While large stockpiles of waste, tyres and plastic continue to go up in flames in uncontrolled fire events all over Australia since China and Southeast Asia closed their doors to our waste dumping, the federal government has been dishing out funds from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Authority (ARENA) to state incinerator projects. This bill does little to promote recycling or waste reduction instead it ensures that the packaging industry continues to self-regulate and that our waste remains within the control of the waste disposal sector. While we face catastrophic climate threats and irreversible contamination of the terrestrial and marine environment from plastics and chemicals, the Australian government has missed this critical opportunity to provide the solutions we desperately need. The cross-sector nature of our waste problem can only be addressed through a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder approach. We need real leadership to cap plastic production, detoxify our materials production systems and establish a zero waste and circular economy,” States Jane Bremmer Zero Waste Australia Coordinator for the National Toxics Network. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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Time to take part in Plastic Atlas Photo Contest – BFFP AP and Heinrich Boell Stiftung

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Plastic pollution is rapidly growing globally. Time to play your part in highlighting Asia’s significant role. 

  As Heinrich Boell Stiftung (hbs) Hong Kong Office and Break Free from Plastic Asia Pacific (BFFP AP) prepare to launch the Asian edition of our publication, Plastic Atlas, in early 2021, we are jointly organising a photo contest so that YOU too can raise awareness of Asia’s part in the plastic pollution crisis.  Both amateur and professional photographers are welcome to take part.  The best 20 submissions will be awarded prizes up to HK$3,000 or equivalent. They may also be used on hbs websites, for social media campaigning and for a photo exhibition as part of the Plastic Atlas Asia launch.

What is the theme?

We are looking for pictures on any topic related to plastic pollution. Examples include single-use plastics and food packaging, plastic pollution at sea, plastic pollution amid the pandemic, etc. Be it plastic-clogged waterways or oceans, discarded food cartons, endless plastic bags, waste management issues, or inspiring solutions, now is your chance to showcase what is happening around the region. For more potential subjects, see the Plastic Atlas International edition.

Who is eligible to take part?

The competition is open to residents of any age and gender from any Asian country. 

What equipment can I use? Are there any other specifications?

All types of cameras (DSLR, mobile phone) and file types are allowed. Submissions can comprise either a standalone photo or a photo essay (up to 5 images) on a particular subject. 

Who will be on the selection panel?

Winning pictures will be chosen by an expert jury of creative professionals, environmental activists, and representatives from hbs and BFFP AP. 

When and where should I send my submission?

Send your entry from 30 November 2020 (12:00 AM onwards) to 31 January 2021 (by 11:59 PM). All dates and times are GMT+8. 

Please submit your photos:

(1) By email: plastic@hk.boell.org (Subject: Plastic Atlas Photo Contest) OR  (2) By post: Heinrich Boell Stiftung Asia Ltd, Unit E, 22/F, Derrick Industrial Bldg, 49 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, Hong Kong.  Winners will be announced and notified by email in March 2021. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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Members in the Spotlight: Friends of the Earth Scotland

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Meet the Friends of the Earth Scotland Team!

Hi, I’m Sarah Moyes and I’m Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Plastic and Circular Economy Campaigner based in Edinburgh.

FoES is Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation and we exist to campaign, with partners in Scotland and across the globe, for a just transition to a sustainable society. We are part of Friends of the Earth International - the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 75 national member groups, over 2 million members, and 5,000 local activist groups around the world.  I’ve been at FoES for 15 months and my work so far on plastic has focused on tackling plastic pollution in Scotland as part of wider work on a circular economy. I’ve also been focusing on incineration and drawing the link between fracking in America and plastic  production in Scotland. 

Why is plastic pollution an important issue for your organisation? What’s the story?

Scotland is the home of plastic production, with Ineos' petrochemical plant, the largest producer of plastic in the UK, situated in Grangemouth. Since 2016, Ineos has imported large volumes of fracked gas from the US to Scotland to make plastic which currently undermines the Scottish Government’s current ban on fracking in Scotland.  Plastic pollutes at every stage of its life cycle so if we are to seriously tackle the climate crisis then we need to address our production and overconsumption of plastic. At the same time, like many countries around the world, we are seeing a rise in plastic pollution as a direct result of our throwaway culture which is blighting our environment and harming our wildlife. 

Tell us more about your ongoing campaigns.

Over the past few months, I have been focusing on incineration in Scotland. My research has found that Scotland plans to increase incineration capacity to burn at least an extra one million tonnes of waste per year through six new incinerators, and there are a further four under consideration. So Friends of the Earth Scotland is now calling for a moratorium on building new incinerators so our incineration capacity doesn’t spiral even more out of control. 

Our current focus is on the EU Single Use Plastic Directive. The Scottish Government is currently consulting on plans to ban the most environmentally harming single-use plastic items and we have launched a campaign to help people respond to the consultation. As well as advocating for a full ban on the items included in the list, we are also pushing for the Scottish Government to go further to tackle plastic pollution in Scotland. 

When did your organisation become a core member of BFFP? What does it mean for your organisation to be part of the BFFP movement?

Friends of the Earth Scotland became a member of BFFP at the end of 2019. As one of only a few campaigners working on plastic in Scotland, the BFFP movement has been a key part of my campaigning. It has given me the opportunity to collaborate and learn from some incredible campaigners and groups across the world in our fight against plastic. 

What is the most ridiculous plastic product or packaging that you have seen?

It still blows my mind that individual fruit comes wrapped in plastic.

I’ve seen pictures before of a peeled orange in a plastic container, and when I was in Thailand last year I found this individual pepper wrapped in plastic. I thought it was bad enough that in Scottish supermarkets sell packets of three peppers in plastic, but this one was a step even further for unnecessary plastic packaging.

What do you find shocking in the plastic waste landscape that you think everybody should know about? 

We often focus a lot on what happens to plastic at the end of its life. And rightly so because it causes huge environmental problems, but I think everyone needs to understand that most plastic is derived from fossil fuels and plastic production is a huge contributor to climate change. Yes, having cleaner beaches and environments is needed, but ultimately, the more plastic we make, the more emissions we release into the atmosphere. 

Thank you to Sarah Moyes, Plastic and Circular Economy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, for taking the time to answer these questions.

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550 Groups Ask Biden to Solve Plastic Pollution Crisis With Eight Executive Actions (English / Español)

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" background_layout="light"] For Immediate Release, December 8, 2020

550 Groups Ask Biden to Solve Plastic Pollution Crisis With Eight Executive Actions

Presidential Plastics Action Plan Urges Incoming President to Stop New Plastic Production, Regulate Petrochemical Industry, Reduce Plastic Pollution

WASHINGTON — A coalition of more than 550 community and conservation organizations, including many members in the #breakfreefromplastic movement, today released its Presidential Plastics Action Plan, urging President-elect Joe Biden to take eight key executive actions to solve the plastic pollution crisis and become a #PlasticFreePresident. These include a moratorium on new plastic production facilities, using federal purchasing power to curb single-use plastics, tightening up regulation of the petrochemical industry, ending fossil fuel subsidies and protecting environmental justice 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. Petrochemical-plastic projects harm frontline communities with toxic air and water pollution and worsen the climate crisis and the impact of the pandemic. “President-elect Biden can begin solving the plastic pollution crisis in his first days in office without any help from Congress,” said Julie Teel Simmonds, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Implementing this historic plan would protect vulnerable frontline communities and marine life while addressing a key driver of climate change. It’s time to rein in the fossil fuel industry’s insidious plans to keep fracking for plastic and polluting poor communities here and around the world.” The Presidential Plastics Action Plan includes detailed steps Biden can take as part of eight priority actions:

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.

“There is nothing common-sense about increasing cancer rates, sterility, or developmental issues in poor communities of color just for plastic. I support the Presidential Plastics Action Plan because plastic is not worth the sacrifice,” said Yvette Arellano with Fenceline Watch. “My state of Texas leads the country in rates of uninsured people yet is home to the largest petrochemical complex; more plastic will only benefit one of those. Instead let’s reinvest in healthcare, healthy jobs, education, and ending a global pandemic.” Today’s plan builds on the momentum of the Break Free From Plastic movement and the bill by the same name. The plan is endorsed by more than 550 groups, from national environmental organizations to small community groups fighting plastic pollution. “We must fight for a just transition to a healthier and sustainable future. Our next generation's future depends on what we do today,” said Frankie Orona with Society of Native Nations. “Human beings have taken more than what's been given back, which is why Mother Earth is now in dire need of help. We need to stop the plastic pollution and the toxic chemicals in the water, air, and land, in order to protect our children and all life that coexists on our planet.” “Plastic production and pollution impact public health, the environment, and climate and it has reached crisis levels around the world, with the United States as one of the biggest contributors. It is for this reason that Sen.Tom Udall, Sen. Jeff Merkley, and I introduced the comprehensive Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act this year, and will reintroduce it next year,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47). “The Presidential Plastics Action Plan lays out how the incoming Biden Administration can lead on this plastic waste issue and enact real solutions like updating important regulations and greater cooperation with the international community. We are running out of time to deal with this crisis, but our bill and the Presidential Plastics Action Plan are important approaches to put us on the right track moving forward.” “Latino communities stand up for solutions that protect our air, water, ocean and our communities which are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis," said Mariana Del Valle Prieto Cervantes, Clean & Healthy Water Advocate for GreenLatinos. "Through this Presidential Plastics Action Plan, President Biden has an opportunity to not just lead us towards a regenerative economy but also protect our communities from the harmful pollution made by plastic production.” The plan dispels the industry-promoted myth that most plastic can be recycled, citing federal figures that only about 8% of plastic consumed in the United States is recycled. Plastic pollution accumulating in the oceans is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050. “Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services has been working on Environmental Justice Issues around the Houston Ship Channel for over 20 years, and it is time for our leaders to take action and break away from the toxic cycles in plastic pollution by supporting the Presidential Plastic’s Action Plan,” said Juan Parras, Executive Director with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services. “We must ensure our frontline workers are protected and ensure a just transition, and the concerns of frontline voices are included and addressed at the decision-making tables.” “Surfrider Foundation normally approaches this problem through beach cleanups and proactively with the power of legislative proposals, but there’s untapped potential in the executive branch,” said Angela Howe, Surfrider Foundation’s legal director. “We’re calling upon this power today to solve the crisis of plastic pollution. Our ocean is dying a death of a thousand cuts, and we need a powerful, multifaceted approach to address it.”  The plan calls for Biden to appoint a Plastic Pollution Czar to coordinate plastic reduction efforts across federal agencies and internationally. It also asks him to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new ways to measure and reduce plastic pollution and to update and better enforce its decades-old regulations for petrochemical plants that make plastic – something many groups behind this plan also demanded of the EPA in a pair of legal petitions last year. “Rejoining the international community means not only rejoining Paris, it means joining the global fight against plastics as a partner, not an obstruction,” said Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law. “President-elect Biden should commit the United States to actively support a new global treaty on plastic pollution; use U.S. trade power to support real development, not plastic polluters; and move quickly to reverse U.S. subsidies and export policies that are accelerating the plastic crisis globally.” Today’s plan is endorsed by actress and activist Rosario Dawson, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and frontline activists like Sharon Lavigne, who is leading the fight against Formosa’s plan to build one of the world’s biggest plastic plants in St. James Parish, Louisiana—a historically Black community in the region known as "Cancer Alley" (due to the health impacts of the petrochemical facilities in the area), which has recorded some of the highest death rates during the COVID-19 pandemic "If the Formosa Plastics complex is built, it would be a death sentence for St. James Parish. We already have so many people dying here, mostly from cancer, and others with terrible reproductive issues. If the petrochemical buildout continues, we won't be able to breathe the air and we will die," said Sharon Lavigne, Founder and President of RISE St. James. "We are asking the Biden Administration to consider the lives of the people here in St. James Parish and take action to protect us." “Plastics and the fossil fuels they’re created 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 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 plastics to a circular, sustainable economy that creates new business opportunities and more jobs.” Activists across the country also recorded segments for a new video urging Biden to adopt the plan and become the first #PlasticFreePresident. They also projected messages calling out plastic pollution on significant buildings in San Francisco, New Orleans and other cities. The video and images are available for media use here “Everyone in America—regardless of the color of their skin, where they live, or how wealthy their community is—should be able to take a breath or pour a glass of water without ingesting dangerous chemicals and microscopic plastics,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley. “Nobody wants to go to the beach and see mountains of single-use plastic waste. And plastic production is a major driver of pollution accelerating the climate crisis that has already claimed lives and livelihoods in every corner of our country.  America was creative enough to invent a million uses for plastic, and now we have to use that creativity to clean up our act and design better alternatives.  Our kids’ health and futures depend on America tackling this urgent problem.” Convening partners for the plan are: Azulita Project, Beyond Plastics, Break Free From Plastic, the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Coalfield Justice, Center for International Environmental Law, Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education, Clean Air Council, Earthworks, Food and Water Watch, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, Last Beach Clean Up, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services and Wishtoyo Foundation. For a full list of supporting organizations, click here. Press Contacts: Julie Teel Simmonds, Center for Biological Diversity (619) 990-2999 | JteelSimmonds@biologicaldiversity.org  Angela Howe, Surfrider Foundation (949) 492-8170 | ahowe@surfrider.org  Cate Bonacini, Center for International Environmental Law (202) 742-5847 | cbonacini@ciel.org Brett Nadrich, Break Free From Plastic (929) 269-4480 | brett@breakfreefromplastic.org  The #breakfreefromplastic movement is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in 2016, more than 11,000 organizations and individual supporters from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. BFFP member organizations and individuals share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, and work together through a holistic approach in order to bring about systemic change under the #breakfreefromplastic core pillars. This means tackling plastic pollution across the whole plastics value chain - from extraction to disposal – focusing on prevention rather than cure and providing effective solutions. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider _builder_version="3.0.98" show_divider="on" background_color="#3a8c9e" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" background_layout="light"] Para distribución inmediata, diciembre 8, 2020

550 grupos piden a Biden que resuelva la crisis de la contaminación del plástico con ocho acciones ejecutivas

El Plan de Acción Presidencial sobre Plásticos insta al Presidente entrante a detener la producción de plásticos, regular la industria petroquímica y reducir la contaminación por plásticos.

WASHINGTON — Una coalición de más de 550 organizaciones comunitarias y de conservación, incluyendo muchos miembros del movimiento #breakfreefromplastic (en español “Libérate del plástico”) publicó hoy su Plan de Acción Presidencial sobre Plásticos, instando al presidente electo Joe Biden a tomar ocho medidas ejecutivas clave para resolver la crisis de la contaminación por plásticos y volverse un #PlasticFreePresident (“Presidente Libre de Plástico”). Estas incluyen una moratoria en las nuevas instalaciones de producción de plásticos, el uso del poder adquisitivo federal para frenar los plásticos de un solo uso, el endurecimiento de la regulación de la industria petroquímica, el fin de los subsidios a los combustibles fósiles y la protección de las comunidades de justicia ambiental de la contaminación. El plan responde a la agresiva expansión de las instalaciones de la industria plástica que utiliza el exceso de oferta de gas fraccionado del país para fabricar plástico desechable que llena nuestros océanos, vertederos y paisajes. Los proyectos petroquímicos-plásticos perjudican a las comunidades de primera línea con la contaminación tóxica del aire y el agua y empeoran la crisis climática y el impacto de la pandemia. "El presidente electo Biden puede comenzar a resolver la crisis de contaminación de plástico en sus primeros días en el cargo sin ninguna ayuda del Congreso", dijo Julie Teel Simmonds, abogada principal del Centro para la Diversidad Biológica. "La implementación de este plan histórico protegería a las comunidades vulnerables de primera línea y a la vida marina, a la vez que abordaría un factor clave del cambio climático". Es hora de frenar los insidiosos planes de la industria de los combustibles fósiles para seguir frenando el plástico y contaminando las comunidades pobres aquí y en todo el mundo". El Plan de Acción Presidencial sobre Plásticos incluye medidas detalladas que Biden puede tomar como parte de ocho acciones prioritarias:

1. Usar el poder adquisitivo del gobierno federal para eliminar los artículos de plástico de un solo uso y sustituirlos por productos reutilizables; 2. Suspender y denegar los permisos para las instalaciones de producción de plástico nuevas o ampliadas, los proyectos de infraestructura asociados y las exportaciones 3. Hacer pagar a los contaminadores corporativos y rechazar las soluciones falsas; 4. Avanzar la justicia ambiental en los corredores petroquímicos; 5. Actualizar las regulaciones federales existentes usando la mejor ciencia y tecnología disponible para reducir la contaminación de las instalaciones de plástico; 6. Dejar de subvencionar a los productores de plásticos; 7. Unirse a los esfuerzos internacionales para abordar la crisis mundial de contaminación de los plásticos mediante acuerdos multilaterales nuevos y reforzados; 8. Reducir y mitigar los efectos de los aparejos de pesca abandonados, desechados y perdidos.

"No hay nada de sentido común en el aumento de las tasas de cáncer, la esterilidad o los problemas de desarrollo en las comunidades pobres de color sólo por el plástico. Yo apoyo el Plan Presidencial de Acción sobre el Plástico porque el plástico no vale el sacrificio", dijo Yvette Arellano de Fenceline Watch. "Mi estado de Texas lidera el país en tasas de personas sin seguro, sin embargo es el hogar del mayor complejo petroquímico; más plástico sólo beneficiará a uno de ellos. En cambio, reinvirtamos en salud, trabajos saludables, educación y en terminar con una pandemia global". El plan de hoy se basa en el impulso del movimiento Break Free From Plastic y el proyecto de ley del mismo nombre. El plan está respaldado por más de 550 grupos, desde organizaciones ambientales nacionales hasta pequeños grupos comunitarios que luchan contra la contaminación del plástico. “Debemos luchar por una transición justa hacia un futuro más saludable y sostenible. El futuro de nuestra próxima generación depende de lo que hagamos hoy ”, dijo Frankie Orona de la Sociedad de Naciones Nativas. “Los seres humanos han tomado más de lo que han devuelto, razón por la cual la Madre Tierra ahora necesita ayuda urgentemente. Necesitamos detener la contaminación plástica y los químicos tóxicos en el agua, el aire y la tierra para proteger a nuestros niños y toda la vida que coexiste en nuestro planeta.” “La producción de plástico y la contaminación que ocasiona tienen un impacto en la salud pública, el medio ambiente y el clima y ha alcanzado niveles de crisis en todo el mundo, con Estados Unidos como uno de los mayores contribuyentes. Es por esta razón que el Senador Tom Udall, el Senador Jeff Merkley y yo presentamos el proyecto de ley ‘Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act’ este año, y lo volveremos a presentar el próximo año ”, dijo el Representante Alan Lowenthal (CA-47). “El Plan de Acción Presidencial sobre Plásticos establece cómo la Administración entrante de Biden puede liderar este problema de desechos plásticos y promulgar soluciones reales como actualizar regulaciones importantes y una mayor cooperación con la comunidad internacional. Nos estamos quedando sin tiempo para lidiar con esta crisis, pero nuestro proyecto de ley y el Plan de Acción Presidencial de Plásticos son enfoques importantes para ponernos en el camino correcto para avanzar.” "Nuestras comunidades Latinas apoyan soluciones que protegen nuestro aire, agua, océano y nuestras comunidades que sufren impactos desproporcionados por la crisis climática,” dijo Mariana Del Valle Prieto Cervantes, Representante de aguas limpias y saludables para GreenLatinos . “A través de este Presidential Plastics Plan, el Presidente Biden tendrá la oportunidad de no solamente marcar el camino hacia una economía regenerativa pero también podrá proteger nuestras comunidades de la contaminación causada por la producción de plásticos.” El plan disipa el mito promovido por la industria de que la mayoría de los plásticos pueden ser reciclados, citando las cifras federales de que sólo alrededor del 8% del plástico consumido en los Estados Unidos es reciclado. Se predice que la contaminación plástica que se acumula en los océanos superará, por peso, todos los peces del mar para el año 2050. “Los Servicios de Defensa de la Justicia Ambiental de Texas han estado trabajando en el tema de Justicia Ambiental alrededor del Canal de Navegación de Houston durante más de 20 años. Es hora de que nuestros líderes actúen y rompan con los ciclos tóxicos de la contaminación plástica apoyando el Plan de Acción Presidencial sobre Plásticos,” dijo Juan Parras, Director Ejecutivo de Los Servicios de Defensa de la Justicia Ambiental de Texas. “Para garantizar que nuestros trabajadores esenciales estén protegidos y garantizar una transición justa, y para que las preocupaciones de las voces de las comunidades más impactadas se incluyan en las mesas de toma de decisiones." “Normalmente, Surfrider Foundation aborda este problema a través de limpiezas de playas y de forma proactiva con el poder de las propuestas legislativas, pero hay un potencial no aprovechado en el poder ejecutivo", dijo Angela Howe, directora legal de Surfrider Foundation. “Estamos recurriendo a este poder hoy para resolver la crisis de la contaminación plástica. Nuestro océano está muriendo por muchas causas y necesitamos un enfoque poderoso y multifacético para abordarla.” El plan pide a Biden que nombre un zar de la contaminación del plástico para coordinar los esfuerzos de reducción de plástico a través de las agencias federales e internacionales. También le pide que dirija la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (en inglés, EPA) para desarrollar nuevas formas de medir y reducir la contaminación de los plásticos y para actualizar y hacer cumplir mejor sus regulaciones de décadas de antigüedad para las plantas petroquímicas que fabrican plástico - algo que muchos grupos detrás de este plan también exigieron a la EPA en un par de peticiones legales el año pasado. "Reunirse con la comunidad internacional significa no sólo volver a París, sino unirse a la lucha mundial contra los plásticos como un socio, no como una obstrucción", dijo Carroll Muffett, presidente del Centro para el Derecho Ambiental Internacional. "El presidente electo Biden debería comprometer a los Estados Unidos a apoyar activamente un nuevo tratado global sobre la contaminación de los plásticos; utilizar el poder comercial de los Estados Unidos para apoyar el desarrollo real, no a los contaminadores de los plásticos; y moverse rápidamente para revertir los subsidios y las políticas de exportación de los Estados Unidos que están acelerando la crisis de los plásticos a nivel mundial". El plan de hoy está respaldado por la actriz y activista Rosario Dawson, el senador estadounidense Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) y activistas de primera línea como Sharon Lavigne, quien lidera la lucha contra el plan de Formosa de construir una de las plantas de plástico más grande del mundo en St. James Parish, Louisiana—una comunidad históricamente negra en la región conocida como “Cancer Alley” (en español "Callejón del Cáncer"), debido a los impactos en la salud que ocasionan las plantas petroquímicas en el área, una zona que además ha registrado algunas de las tasas de muerte más altas durante la pandemia de COVID-19. "Si se construye el complejo Formosa Plastics, sería una sentencia de muerte para la comunidad de St. James. Ya tenemos a tantas personas muriendo aquí, la mayoría de cáncer, y otras con problemas reproductivos terribles. Si la expansión petroquímica continúa, no podremos respirar y moriremos," dijo Sharon Lavigne, fundadora y presidenta de RISE St. James. "Le pedimos a la Administración de Biden que considere la vida de las personas aquí en la comunidad de St. James y tome medidas para protegernos." "Los plásticos y los combustibles fósiles con los que se crean están contribuyendo a una catástrofe global. Las más de 250.000 empresas responsables que representamos están dispuestas a trabajar con la administración Biden para reducir nuestra dependencia del plástico", dijo David Levine, presidente y cofundador del American Sustainable Business Council. "Juntos podemos revisar la forma en que diseñamos, fabricamos y distribuimos nuestros productos, haciendo la transición de los plásticos de un solo uso a una economía circular y sostenible que cree nuevas oportunidades de negocio y más empleos". Activistas en todo el país también grabaron segmentos para un nuevo video instando a Biden a adoptar el plan y convertirse en el primer #PlasticFreePresident. También proyectaron mensajes haciendo un llamado sobre la contaminación por plástico en edificios significativos en San Francisco, New Orleans y otras ciudades. El vídeo y las imágenes están disponibles para los medios de comunicación aquí. "Todos en Estados Unidos--sin importar el color de su piel, dónde vive o el nivel económico de su comunidad, debería ser capaz de tomar un respiro o tomar un vaso de agua sin ingerir químicos peligrosos y plásticos microscópicos", dijo el Senador Jeff Merkley. "Nadie quiere ir a la playa y ver montañas de desechos plásticos de un solo uso. Y la producción de plástico es un gran impulsor de la contaminación que acelera la crisis climática que ya se ha tomado vidas y medios de subsistencia en todos los rincones de nuestro país.  Los Estados Unidos fue lo suficientemente creativo como para inventar un millón de usos para el plástico, y ahora tenemos que usar esa creatividad para reparar el daño y diseñar mejores alternativas. La salud y el futuro de nuestros hijos dependen de que Estados Unidos aborde este urgente problema". Los socios convocantes del plan son Azulita Project, Beyond Plastics, Break Free From Plastic, the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Coalfield Justice, Center for International Environmental Law, Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education, Clean Air Council, Earthworks, Food and Water Watch, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, Last Beach Clean Up, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services y Wishtoyo Foundation. Para obtener una lista completa de las organizaciones de apoyo, haga clic aquí. Contactos de Prensa: Yvette Arellano, Fenceline Watch (281) 919-5762 | fencelinewatch@gmail.com  Brett Nadrich, Break Free From Plastic (929) 269-4480 | brett@breakfreefromplastic.org  #BreakFreeFromPlastic (“Libérate del Plástico” en español) es un movimiento global que aspira a un futuro libre de contaminación causada por el plástico. Desde su lanzamiento en 2016, más de 11.000 organizaciones y simpatizantes individuales de todo el mundo se han unido al movimiento para exigir reducciones masivas en plásticos de un solo uso y para impulsar soluciones duraderas a la crisis de contaminación plástica. Las distintas organizaciones e individuos miembros que forman parte de este movimiento comparten los valores de protección ambiental y justicia social, y trabajan juntos a través de un enfoque holístico para lograr un cambio sistémico. Esto implica abordar la contaminación plástica en toda la cadena de producción del plástico–desde la extracción hasta el desecho–centrándose en la prevención y soluciones efectivas. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]