Lobby day secures bipartisan support for the Plastic Pellet Free Water Act

We spoke up in Washington, D.C. for microplastic free waters.

Staff | TPIN

Companies shouldn’t be allowed to dump plastic into our waterways, but every year, millions of plastic pellets (also known as “nurdles”) are spilled or washed down drains by the plastic industry. That’s why on April 10 PIRG, Environment America and Earth Day Network advocates from across the country came to Washington, D.C. to advocate for the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act, a bill by Sen. Durbin and Reps. Levin and Peltola that would require the EPA to ban the discharge of pre-production plastic pellets into our waterways. 

WashPIRG lobbies on the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act Staff | TPIN
Johanna Neumann shows nurdles to Rep. Foushee of North Carolina. Athel Rogers | TPIN
Athel Rogers | TPIN
Sen. Durbin of Illinois is leading the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act.

We held 75 meetings with Senate and House offices of both parties. Armed with jars of nurdles, our advocates told lawmakers that 10 trillion plastic pellets enter our oceans each year, posing a threat to both people and wildlife. Birds, fish and turtles can eat the pellets, which look like fish eggs, and if they eat enough plastic they can starve. The pellets also absorb toxins that can harm our health as they move up the food chain. 

Two members of Congress co-sponsored the legislation right after meeting with our advocates: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania (a Republican) and Rep. Jennifer McClellan of Virginia (a Democrat). Many more told us the bill was common sense and that they’d heard from clean water organizations and constituents concerned about microplastic pollution. Reps. McCollum (MN), Evans and Lee (PA), Schneider (IL) and Lieu (CA) all joined the bill shortly after our lobby day.

You can help us keep up the momentum by telling your representative to support the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act.


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