Action to prevent marine litter: Plastics makers call for global cooperation

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American Chemistry Council

Washington, USA — „Science magazine“ has published a new study on marine debris from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The study’s authors say it is the first research to quantify debris coming from land into our oceans. It also offers insights on potential strategies and solutions.

The following statement may be attributed to Steve Russell, vice president, Plastics Division: „Scientists are working to answer many questions about marine debris, but one thing is certain: The most important thing we can do right now is to keep all trash, including plastics, from getting into our oceans in the first place. The global dimensions of marine debris are creating opportunities for world leaders, NGOs, and the private sector to work together, and America’s plastics makers will continue to partner with these and other stakeholders to develop solutions for a cleaner ocean.

Recommending wider waste management

„Researchers from around the globe are recommending wider adoption of modern, integrated waste management, such as recycling, composting and energy conversion technologies, to reduce marine litter. These findings are reflected in work from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP, an advisory group to the United Nations) and the Honolulu Strategy (2011). The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division and America’s plastics makers support these recommendations.

„Used plastics should be treated as valuable resources and recycled whenever possible or recovered for their energy value when recycling is not feasible.

„It is up to all of us to work together to protect our oceans, waterways, and marine ecosystems. In the United States and around the globe, plastics makers are working to prevent and address marine litter. In 2011 leaders from many of the world’s plastics associations signed The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, a public commitment designed to contribute real solutions.

Global declaration signed by 60 plastics associations

„The Declaration focuses on education, public policy, best practices, plastics recycling and recovery, plastic pellet containment, and research. Today, 60 plastics associations in 34 countries have signed on to the Global Declaration, and since 2011, 185 projects have been completed or are in progress in various parts of the world.

„In the United States, some of these efforts include helping to sponsor the Curbside Value Partnership, a leader in promoting community recycling programs; funding for Keep America Beautiful’s national consumer-focused recycling campaign, ‚I Want to Be Recycled‘; supporting legislation to phase out microbeads in personal care products in Illinois, New Jersey and elsewhere; and placing hundreds of recycling bins on California’s beaches through the ‚Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. RecycleTM‘ initiative.“

Source: American Chemistry Council / PRNewswire-USNewswire