SAN FRANCISCO— Organizations and activists across the country are welcoming this week’s introduction of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act in Congress by projecting anti-plastic messages on landmarks in seven major U.S. cities.
The comprehensive legislation to address plastic pollution and rising U.S. plastic production was also endorsed Sunday by HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which did a 22-minute segment on the plastic pollution crisis.
The Center for Biological Diversity and other organizations behind the Presidential Plastics Action Plan, which asks President Biden to issue executive orders to address the plastic crisis, projected messages supporting the legislation in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Houston, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Portland, Ore. over the last few days. Images from each are available for media use.
“Americans are crying out for action on the plastic pollution and production crisis. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act answers that call in a big way,” said Delia Ridge Creamer, a Center organizer involved in the projections. “The federal government has to help stem the flow of plastic into our environment and our bodies, because there’s just no other way. Congress has to act, and so does the Biden administration through the EPA and other federal agencies.”
The legislation, authored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), is expected to be introduced on Thursday. It is the most comprehensive bill ever introduced in Congress to address the plastic pollution crisis. It would reduce single-use plastics, improve recycling rates and information and hold producers responsible for their waste, and protect frontline and fenceline communities from new or expanding plastic production facilities by putting a pause on new permits. It would also combat false solutions such as incineration or so-called “chemical recycling.”
The projections supporting the bill include these messages: “Plastic=Fossil Fuels=Climate Change,” “Stop Making Plastic,” and “Invest in a Circular Economy,” in English and Spanish. Groups doing the projections included Fenceline Watch, Surfrider Portland, , the Stop Formosa Plastics coalition, Buckeye Environmental Network, Concerned Ohio River Residents, the People Over Petro coalition, Greenpeace USA, Backbone Campaign and the Center.
Plastic pollution travels through the food web into wildlife and humans. Plastic comes from fossil fuels and contributes to climate change at every stage in its life cycle, from the fracked gas it comes from through industrial processing to the emissions and chemicals released over the decades it takes to break down.