Ask Biden to Solve Plastic Pollution Crisis With Eight Executive Actions


Plastic production fuels the climate crisis while harming local communities with toxic air and water pollution and harming wildlife worldwide… Plastic causes serious environmental problems at every step of its production to end-of-use cycle… 

Sign the petition: President Biden: Be a #PlasticFreePresident

In early December we joined with more than 550 other community and conservation organizations in releasing a Presidential Plastics Action Plan.

The campaign launch included a moving video message to then-President elect Biden, urging him, early in his administration, to take eight key executive actions aimed at solving the plastic pollution crisis.

Watch the short video here. Recognize anyone? Yes, there are Jane Fonda, Keb’ Mo’, Ed Begley Jr, and thanks for them for helping to spread the word!, but we’re talking about OVEC Organizer Alex Cole. 

Also speaking are many amazing activists who are working on environmental justice issues, including Yvette Arellano with Fenceline Watch, who so generously and compassionately shares with OVEC her expertise in dealing with the petrochemical/plastics industry and its impacts on the health and wellbeing of fenceline communities in the Houston, Texas area. (For instance, she has been an immense help since the explosion at a Belle WV chemical plant.)

Yvette says, “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… Instead let’s reinvest in healthcare, healthy jobs, education, and ending a global pandemic.”

The Presidential Plastics Action Plan counteracts the plastic industry’s aggressive expansion of petrochemical plants (including the “Appalachian Storage Hub” proposed for the Ohio River Valley) to use up the country’s oversupply of fracked gas, all to make throwaway plastic that already chokes our oceans, landfills, and landscapes. 

The 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.

These actions will immediately set the nation on a pathway to a plastic-pollution-free future while longer-term measures that require action at all levels of government and society are developed. Call on President Biden to act. Sign the petition here:

If we are serious about stopping the plastic pollution crisis, we must reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic produced.

We can transform our extractive, throwaway economy to a regenerative, inclusive one that’s good for our country and creates U.S. jobs. 

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.

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, including OVEC, also demanded of the EPA in a pair of legal petitions last year.

“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,” says plan supporter Senator 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 include 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, OVEC – the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services and Wishtoyo Foundation.

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1 Comment

  1. We MUST do everything we can to make a change in not only the future of the earth, but the future of our people.

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