Plastics Makers Call For Global Cooperation, Action To Prevent Marine Debris

Feb 12, 2015, 08:00 ET from American Chemistry Council

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Science magazine today published a new study on marine debris from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The study's authors say it is the first research to quantify debris coming from land into our oceans. It also offers insights on potential strategies and solutions. 

The following statement may be attributed to Steve Russell, vice president, Plastics Division:

"Scientists are working to answer many questions about marine debris, but one thing is certain: The most important thing we can do right now is to keep all trash, including plastics, from getting into our oceans in the first place.

"The global dimensions of marine debris are creating opportunities for world leaders, NGOs, and the private sector to work together, and America's plastics makers will continue to partner with these and other stakeholders to develop solutions for a cleaner ocean.

"Researchers from around the globe are recommending wider adoption of modern, integrated waste management, such as recycling, composting and energy conversion technologies, to reduce marine litter. These findings are reflected in work from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP, an advisory group to the United Nations) and the Honolulu Strategy (2011). The American Chemistry Council's Plastics Division and America's plastics makers support these recommendations.  

"Used plastics should be treated as valuable resources and recycled whenever possible or recovered for their energy value when recycling is not feasible.

"It is up to all of us to work together to protect our oceans, waterways, and marine ecosystems. In the United States and around the globe, plastics makers are working to prevent and address marine litter. In 2011 leaders from many of the world's plastics associations signed The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, a public commitment designed to contribute real solutions.

"The Declaration focuses on education, public policy, best practices, plastics recycling and recovery, plastic pellet containment, and research. Today, 60 plastics associations in 34 countries have signed on to the Global Declaration, and since 2011, 185 projects have been completed or are in progress in various parts of the world (see 2014 progress report).

"In the United States, some of these efforts include helping to sponsor the Curbside Value Partnership, a leader in promoting community recycling programs; funding for Keep America Beautiful's national consumer-focused recycling campaign, 'I Want to Be Recycled'; supporting legislation to phase out microbeads in personal care products in Illinois, New Jersey and elsewhere; and placing hundreds of recycling bins on California's beaches through the 'Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. RecycleTM' initiative."

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is an $812 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is the nation's largest exporter, accounting for twelve percent of all U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.


SOURCE American Chemistry Council