PLASTICS Releases Statement on Marine Debris

PLASTICS acknowledges that a collaborative approach is the only approach to solving the marine litter problem.

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), Washington, D.C., released its first official statement on marine debris, recognizing the critical importance of our oceans and the great environmental challenge that uncollected plastics present. The statement also highlights the industry’s commitment to preventing and mitigating marine debris through strengthened recovery systems around the globe. 

“Plastics offer many sustainability advantages that can significantly reduce greenhouse gasses, water consumption and air emissions,” says PLASTICS’ President & CEO William R. Carteaux. “But plastics must be prevented from entering the environment through investment in proper recovery systems. The entire plastics industry is committed to being part of the solution – finding real ways to combat the problem.”

In the statement, PLASTICS outlines the following priorities:

PLASTICS supports data driven research efforts that identify opportunities to meaningfully address marine debris. These opportunities include, but are not limited to: 

  • educating manufacturers and the public to prevent litter
  • expanding collection opportunities
  • developing new end markets that increase demand for recycled plastics
  • promoting the design of plastic products in a way that facilitates recovery
  • promoting clean-ups
  • and, ensuring plastics are managed properly at manufacturing sites through programs like Operation Clean Sweep and Zero Net Waste

“The plastics industry is committed to preventing and mitigating marine debris,” according to the statement. “PLASTICS recognizes that marine debris is a global issue, and partners with other associations, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental authorities to coordinate efforts to strengthen recovery systems around the globe and prevent the loss of any plastics, all of which are valuable, into the environment.” 

PLASTICS acknowledges that a collaborative approach is the only approach to solving the marine litter problem. The statement on marine debris serves as a public commitment by the industry to meaningfully address the problem and as a bridge to open dialogue about solutions with other important partners that are equally invested in solving this issue.

Be sure to check out the July issue of Plastics Technology, which will feature an in-depth look at ocean-bound plastics and how some companies are turning a global problem into a useful resource. 

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