Beyond Plastic

The REDUCE Act targets the most wasteful plastics

98% of plastic products are made with brand new plastic. A law being proposed in Congress could change that.

Beyond plastic

U.S. Capitol building in D.C.
Public Domain |

The REDUCE Act, reintroduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Lloyd Doggett on Tuesday, provides a clear way to address the production of new plastic to make single-use items– by reducing the amount of brand-new, non-recycled plastic going into some of the products we use every day.

If passed, the bill would add a fee to all new plastics that become single-use plastic products. Recycled plastics wouldn’t face this fee, making it a more attractive option. That would give companies more incentive to recycle plastics or buy recycled materials, rather than sending that valuable material to landfills and incinerators. 

“From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, our country will have produced enough plastic waste to fill the largest football stadium in the country — and most of this waste is made up of non-recycled plastics. The process of producing and distributing all of this brand new plastic worsens climate change, negatively impacts public health, and pollutes our communities and environment,” said Janet Domenitz, executive director of MASSPIRG. “We support the reintroduction of the REDUCE Act, which would help rein in the amount of waste we produce and encourage plastic manufacturers to use recycled plastic instead of making more.”

“Our addiction to plastic has gotten way out of hand,” said Lisa Frank, executive director of Environment America’s Washington Legislative Office. “Plastic is atop our highest mountains and in the depths of our oceans. It’s choking animals and filling our landfills, and most of it is never recycled. The REDUCE Act is a helpful step away from wasteful plastic and toward a more sustainable approach. We urge Congress to pass it.”

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