Americans could soon be seeing more plastic products made of recycled content — a small, but important, step toward moving our country beyond plastic.
On Aug. 11, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) introduced the REDUCE Act, which would charge companies extra for using virgin plastic to make single-use products. While the legislation addresses some of the front-end environmental costs of plastic production, our elected officials must do more to take on the plastic waste that doesn’t get recycled and instead pollutes our environment for generations.
“This bill would encourage manufacturers to use more recycled plastic — and that’s good, because making new plastic is harmful and resource-intensive,” said Alex Truelove, PIRG’s Zero Waste campaign director. “But we can only recycle what we actually collect and divert from landfills. Plastic that’s littered or illegally dumped won’t be addressed by this bill, reminding us that the only way to truly tackle plastic pollution is to make and use less of the stuff in the first place.”
As PIRG urges Congress to pass the REDUCE Act, we’re also continuing to advocate for more comprehensive legislation, such as the federal Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.
Content Creator, Editorial & Creative Team, The Public Interest Network
Aaron writes and designs materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network for U.S. PIRG. Aaron lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and spends his spare time playing drums and going for long walks.