PLASTICS — Now a Public Health and Environmental Crisis

by admin on March 25, 2021

There is a wonderful world to be found after plastics

Plastic pollution poisons our air and water, kills marine wildlife, and gets into our bodies

From the letter of Michelle Chan, Friends of the Earth, March 22, 2021

It’s the public health and environmental crisis that not enough people are talking about: PLASTIC.

Plastic will soon outweigh all the fish in the sea. It fills our rivers and oceans, chokes wildlife, permeates our drinking water and our food, and persists in the environment for centuries.

Discarded plastics don’t just disappear. They break down into smaller and smaller pieces, turning into microplastics that contaminate our water, soil, and the food we eat. Can we count on you to act now to stop plastics from overrunning our environment?

Scientists estimate that there are already 51 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. That’s 51 trillion deadly hazards that cause harm to ocean organisms — from the smallest of corals to the largest of whales.

In 2020, over 11 million metric tons of plastic was dumped in the ocean. If this trajectory is allowed to continue, by 2040, 29 million metric tons of plastic will be dumped annually.

One plastic bag, or bottle cap, or fishing net, can suffocate, strangle, or starve its helpless victim. After their bodies decompose, the plastic is released back into the environment where it can kill again — because plastics do not break down.

700 known marine species have been killed by either plastic entanglement or ingestion of plastic — resulting in over a million animal deaths every year.

Sea turtles, dolphins, seals, fish, and sea birds are all at risk if something isn’t done soon to address the plastic crisis. So, let’s take action to protect our vulnerable wildlife from deadly plastic hazards.

The world is facing an indisputable plastic pollution crisis. But it doesn’t end there: the plastics crisis is also linked to the climate crisis. More than 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels, and one of the main ingredients is a byproduct of natural gas. The fracking boom is fueling an unprecedented surge in plastic production as well.

In fact, because of fracking, the fossil fuel industry plans to increase plastic production by 40% over the next decade. This not only means more fracking pollution, but also an explosion of new toxic petrochemical plants. These plants would be devastating to the health of millions of primarily low-income, Black, and brown Americans along the Gulf Coast and in Appalachia.

Here’s the dirty truth behind their actions: The fossil fuel industry is using plastics as their “get out of jail free” card. With the public demanding a shift away from burning oil and gas for energy or fuel, the industry wants to maximize plastic consumption, including unnecessary single-use plastics.

In short, this industry is destroying our planet with plastic pollution, harming the health of frontline communities, and pushing us further to climate catastrophe. It’s beyond outrageous.

That’s why Friends of the Earth is supporting The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which holds corporations and plastic producers accountable for the plastic pollution crisis. We are also working to push the Biden Administration to enact the Presidential Plastics Action Plan, a comprehensive set of Presidential actions to tackle the crisis with or without Congress. And we’re pushing Congress and the Biden administration to stop giving the fracking industry special treatment as a “clean energy” version of fossil fuels.

As the fossil fuel industry doubles down on plastic as the new frontier for petrochemical production, we must do everything in our power to shape a new future — A future that isn’t bought and shaped by the richest and most powerful industries in the world. A future with a sustainable economy that doesn’t leave anybody behind.

Help us win a plastic-pollution-free future. Support Friends of the Earth with a donation today.

Plastics are choking off our planet EARTH

Thank you, Michelle Chan,
VP of Programs, Friends of the Earth

NOTE: Friends of the Earth
1101 15th Street NW, 11th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Delia Ridge Creamer March 25, 2021 at 8:20 pm

Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act Receives National Support

Contact: Delia Ridge Creamer, ,, March 24, 2021

Projections in Seven U.S. Cities, John Oliver Segment Backs Federal Plastics Bill

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.


Claudia Campanale March 26, 2021 at 1:06 pm

A Detailed Review Study on Potential Effects of Microplastics and Additives of Concern on Human Health

Claudia Campanale, Carmine Massarelli, [...], and Vito Felice Uricchio


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