The world’s oceans are already drowning in plastic trash. And instead of working to stem the tide of pollution, plastic manufacturers want to dramatically increase U.S. plastic production over the next decade.
From the deepest sea trenches to the most remote oceanic islands, plastic pollution has made its way there; suffocating sea turtles, starving seabirds, and wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems.
On top of that, the facilities producing all the plastic are poisoning communities – like the African American neighborhoods in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ - with deadly carcinogens including dioxin, phthalates and benzene.
If we’re going to win the battle against the plastic pollution crisis, and the environmental racism at the heart of it, we have to fight it at the source. So we and our partners are demanding the EPA do its job and stop industry from trashing our oceans and polluting frontline communities as it moves to dramatically expand U.S. plastic production.
Add your name to the petition demanding the EPA protect vulnerable communities and marine wildlife from plastic pollution:
Dear Environmental Protection Agency,
I'm writing to urge the EPA to adopt new rules for plastic manufacturing facilities to better track and ultimately limit the pollution that's being dumped into our air and water.
Plastic has been accumulating in our oceans for decades, with an estimated 8 million tons added every year. And under current permits, the facilities producing all the plastic — including plants in low-income areas along the Gulf Coast and in Appalachia — are poisoning communities with deadly carcinogens. This is unacceptable. The EPA needs to greatly increase monitoring and enforcement and outright ban the discharge of benzene, dioxin, phthalates, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons — all of which are extremely harmful to human health and marine life.
Right now the plastic industry plans to increase North American plastic production by at least 35 percent by 2025. So now's the time to fix these outdated rules. The current guidelines and standards to limit plastic pollution were developed decades ago and don't account for the latest science and technology, as the Clean Water Act requires.
Specifically I ask that you take the following four actions to protect people and wildlife from pollution by these petrochemical plants:
1) Prohibit the discharge of plastic pellets and all other plastic materials in stormwater and wastewater;
2) Update effluent limitation guidelines for new facilities to eliminate the discharge of all toxic pollutants;
3) Revise the list of chemicals considered as pollutants to reflect current science; and
4) Update the pollution-control requirements for all petrochemical facilities to reflect advances in monitoring and treatment technologies since the last revisions decades ago.
I'm counting on you to protect our communities and wildlife from plastic pollution.