345,606 Petition Signatures Delivered to U.S. Government Officials Calling for a Stronger Stance on the UN Plastics Treaty

Late yesterday, Plastic Pollution Coalition along with many other organizations from the Break Free From Plastic movement delivered 345,606 petition signatures from civil society calling on the Biden Administration to negotiate a legally binding treaty that centers impacted communities, public health, and human rights while acknowledging the myriad impacts that plastic poses at all stages of its “life cycle,” beginning with fossil fuel extraction. 

The group also presented a letter to the Biden Administration supported by 150 U.S.-based organizations who are members of the Break Free From Plastic movement.

Representatives of the Break Free From Plastic Movement deliver UN Plastics Treaty petitions and a letter to the U.S. Government ahead of INC-4, in Washington, D.C.

With just two more negotiating sessions scheduled to finalize the UN Plastics Treaty, time is running out for the U.S. to support real solutions and participate in crafting an effective global agreement to end plastic pollution.

The next negotiating session will take place in Ottawa, Canada, April 23–29. Your voice matters; add your name to the petition today!

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Today, the White House announced a new Executive Order to Revitalize Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, which includes “new steps to combat plastic pollution in communities.” According to the Fact Sheet, the new steps include the following:

  • A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draft National Strategy on Preventing Plastic Pollution, intended to “combat the disparate impacts on communities affected by plastic from production to waste.”
  • A new White House Interagency Policy Committee (IPC) on Plastic Pollution and a Circular Economy, which “will coordinate federal efforts on plastic pollution, prioritizing public health, economic development, and equity to ensure that the benefits of acting on plastic pollution – including jobs, minimized exposure to harmful chemicals, and clean communities – are available to all.”

Plastic Pollution Coalition applauds the Biden-Harris Administration’s recognition that plastic pollution is an environmental and social justice issue that disproportionately impacts Black, Brown, and Indigenous (BIPOC), and rural and low-income communities. The details of the plans will be key, as will the timeline for implementation.

When it comes to plastic pollution, there is no “away.” For far too long, the fossil fuel industry has promoted plastic as disposable and treated communities as sacrifice zones. It’s time communities get the government protection from industry they deserve, and that the right to clean air, water, and soil is restored for everyone. This Earth Day, it is important to remember that we have just one planet to care for and share, and we are all in this together.

– Julia Cohen, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Plastic Pollution Coalition
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