The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 has been reintroduced by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merlkey, D-Oregon, and U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif. If passed, this act will make a real difference to the health of the Earth and to the health of all living things on Earth.

Plastic is toxic. Over a hundred chemicals known to be harmful to living organisms are used in the production of plastic. Plastic production generates greenhouse gas emissions. As well, plastic disposal, the burying and burning of plastics, releases harmful emissions and greenhouse gases. The United States buries or incinerates 32 million tons of plastic waste each year and each year more than 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 will address our wasteful plastic production and reform our disposal and recycling systems. This act will require corporations to take responsibility for their plastic pollution, requiring them to innovate with safe alternatives, design effective recycling systems and manufacture reusable products. Many non-recyclable, single-use plastics will be banned.

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 will shift the expense of plastic waste disposal from municipal governments and taxpayers to corporate producers. New, clean jobs will be created in a “reuse and refill” economy.

Please contact your legislators and encourage them to support this Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021. Emphasize how important it is that the harm caused by plastic pollution be stopped.

Karen Jacobsen