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PLASTICS

Our Plastics team works to combat greenhouse gas emissions and pollution linked to the plastics industry.

We urge legislators to better regulate plastics.

We pressure corporations to invest in sustainable alternatives.

We marshal public opposition to throwaway plastic.

what we do

The Plastics team works at the local, state, and national levels.​​

Our tactics include:​

  • Pushing for and tracking legislative intitiatives

  • Creating and managing petitions and email campaigns

  • Organizing events

  • Writing letters to the editor

Along the way we partner with other groups working to address the scourge of single-use plastic.

WHY WE DO IT

  • Plastics are fossil fuel products with a big greenhouse gas footprint at every stage of their life cycle. The Center for International Environmental Law reports that at current levels, emissions from the production and disposal of plastics threaten our ability to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C degrees. Yet the petrochemical industry is plowing billions of dollars into expanding the production of plastics to compensate for its loss of revenue as people turn to renewable sources of energy.

  • Recycling is not a viable solution to the plastics crisis. Not all plastic can be recycled, and less than 10% of the plastic ever produced has been recycled. Even when plastic is recycled, new plastic is used in the process. Products made from downcycled plastic are only a step or two away from landfill or the incinerator.

  • The plastic problem is a social justice issue. In the US and abroad, fracking, manufacturing, incineration, and disposal sites are concentrated near marginalized communities. They bring deforestation, water contamination, and air with high levels of toxins linked to cancer and other diseases. They threaten the livelihoods of those who rely on subsistence fishing, and they turn agricultural villages into dumping grounds. 

RESOURCES

  • Watch the Emmy Award-winning 2019 documentary The Story of Plastic, available on various streaming services

  • Learn about California's 2022 ballot measure to reduce plastic waste, tax producers of single-use plastic, and fund recycling and environmental programs

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Image source: Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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