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PLASTICS Marine Debris Statement

The health of our oceans and waterways is critically important to the well-being of the global community. The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) believes uncollected plastics do not belong in the marine environment. Plastics offer many sustainability advantages that can significantly reduce greenhouse gases, water consumption and air emissions through a product’s lifecycle, promote resource efficiency, and prevent food waste. To realize their full sustainability potential, plastics should be recovered, for their highest and best use, and prevented from entering the environment, benefitting both ecosystems and economies.

The plastics industry is committed to preventing and mitigating marine debris. 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 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
  • Ensuring plastics are managed properly at manufacturing sites through programs like Operation Clean Sweep and Zero Net Waste

PLASTICS believes that together, we can address this important challenge by supporting work in all of these areas, and engaging the entire plastics supply chain to increase awareness, leverage knowledge and maximize the impact of our efforts to combat marine debris.

Addressing Marine Debris

Plastics should not end up as litter in our oceans or anywhere else, and that is why we intend to play a leading role in the domestic solution around increased recycling and ensuring plastic doesn’t become waste. Addressing marine debris is a major aspect of our work and we are committed to tackling it head-on. That work begins with the following steps: