Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced a resolution designating July as Plastic Pollution Action Month, stemming from extreme concern over the plastic pollution crisis that is threatening human health and marine ecosystems.
The resolution details the dangers to human health and the environment as a direct result of plastic pollution, and encourages all individuals in the United States to protect, conserve, and maintain the environment by taking steps to reduce their plastic pollution, this month and beyond.
“Many of us know and live by the three R’s—reduce, reuse, and recycle—in the hope that as long as we put our plastic items into blue bins, we could protect our environment,” said Merkley, who serves as the Chair of the Environment and Public Works subcommittee overseeing environmental justice and chemical safety. “Unfortunately for plastics, the three B’s are much more common—plastic is buried, burned, or borne out to sea—which means dangerous chemicals are seeping into our air, water, and soil and threatening Americans’ health everywhere, and disproportionately in communities of color and low-income communities.
We need more than blue bins in the face of this crisis. This resolution emphasizes the urgency of this situation. Congress should come together to pass this resolution and then deliver the solutions to this crisis that our families and our planet deserve.”
“Plastic waste is everywhere. Not only is it piling up in our oceans and rivers – microplastics are now being found in the most remote reaches of Antarctica and, recently, even in human blood,” said Whitehouse, who co-founded the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus to find common ground in responding to issues facing the oceans and coasts. “We’re clearly facing a crisis of plastic pollution, and we ought to use this Plastic Pollution Action Month to build on the success of my bipartisan Save Our Seas laws and combat the scourge of plastic waste.”
Full text of the resolution can be found here.