The Plastics Industry Association, Washington, has released its first official statement on marine debris in which the organization recognizes the critical importance of the world’s oceans and the environmental challenge that uncollected plastics present. The statement also mentions the industry’s commitment to preventing and mitigating marine debris through strengthened recovery systems around the globe.
The association says its statement “serves as a public commitment by the industry to meaningfully address the problem and as a bridge to open dialogue about solutions with other important partners that are equally invested in solving this issue.”
“Plastics offer many sustainability advantages that can significantly reduce greenhouse gasses, water consumption and air emissions,” says the association’s President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “But plastics must be prevented from entering the environment through investment in proper recovery systems. The entire plastics industry is committed to being part of the solution—finding real ways to combat the problem.”
In the statement, the association says it supports data-driven research efforts that identify opportunities to meaningfully address marine debris, including 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 cleanups and ensuring plastics are managed properly at manufacturing sites through programs like Operation Clean Sweep and Zero Net Waste.
“The plastics industry is committed to preventing and mitigating marine debris,” the statement reads. “PLASTICS recognizes that marine debris is a global issue and partners with other associations, nongovernmental 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.”