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Many Voices Calling for Passage of the Plastic Pollution Bill
Dr. Rob Moir -- Ocean River Institute Dr. Rob Moir -- Ocean River Institute
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Cambridge , MA
Monday, April 06, 2020


The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 is being considered by Congress.  It will only become law if a significant number of Americans speak up as to why it is in the best interests of legislators to do so.  

Already many have taken the time to comment.  

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

Here are just a few of the comments going to Washington from different states.  

Sometimes it takes many voices speaking truth to power to be heard. 

At every point in its “lifespan,” from manufacture to slow decay, plastic involves chemicals that endanger human lives and our climate. Nor should we forget, amid a global pandemic, that plastic can act as a raft to transport germs. It is past time to break free of harmful plastic products.

Lorna Wood, Auburn  AL

We are responsible for irreplaceable biodiversity and clean, healthy ecosystems upon Earth. Everything is connected—humans can’t survive without a healthy environment and ecosystems.

David Parker, Sherwood  AR

We need to stop treating our oceans as a giant garbage dump and that is where most of the single-use plastic winds up eventually. Healthy oceans and healthy planet equal healthy people. Continuing as we have only serves to increase the clean up issues for future generations. We have a chance to stop the excess now. I’m constantly picking up pieces of plastic and plastic bags that I find outside because it’s important to me that the Earth is not trashed. This act would help restore some peace of mind about the future for my grandchildren.

Crystal Rector, Phoenix  AZ

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

While growing up my parents, myself, and my four siblings camped and hiked throughout California. We also spent a great deal of time at our local beaches. About 15 years ago, I was with my daughter and my two grandchildren and we saw two beached sea lions. One was close to the water while the other was further up. The one close to us was in quite a bit of distress. The fishing line had been entangled around its entire body. Lifeguards, standing by the two seals, called the Marine Life Rescue Team.  I have always had deep respect for our earth and its ethereal wildlife. This is so heartbreaking for me and when I see the way humans continue to dishonor the earth and wildlife, I get so angry. Please act by passing this plastic pollution bill. 

Kathleen Tyson, Riverside  CA

We must protect the vitality of life in our oceans and keep our land freer from pollution.  This pollution is moving through our environment and back into our own bodies. We have yet to assess the full harm being done.  With a changing climate, much is under threat. Life is made worse by plastic pollution. This legislation would set new limits on plastic production, the use of plastics, and lead us towards better practices for a viable future.  Without limits now we will fail to fully create the alternative practices that make for a better future.

Mark Meeks, Bailey  CO

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

Our environment is being destroyed and fellow species are dying horrible, preventable, unnecessary deaths because of plastic. The plastic companies have the means to recycle ALL the plastic they create. No excuses. Plastic is too much in our everyday lives. Just look around your home, vehicle and work. Count how many plastics are around you. Let’s eliminate as much as we possibly can and get back to nature. The Earth will be cleaner and safer. Wildlife won’t suffer, die or be harmed because of it. There won’t be plastic trash floating in water, clogging drains, filling landfills, and polluting everything. Our country will be cleaner, pristine, and more beautiful.

Diana Drummond, Vernon  CT

The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 is a critically important bill which would significantly reduce rampant plastic pollution comprehensively. This is extremely important to me and to my family. It will benefit all of us by making everywhere cleaner, healthier and thus safer. I care deeply about the environment. We must clean up the world – now- after years of accumulating harmful waste and indulging gross neglect. This bill will advance us far down that road of taking responsibility for what we do, both personally and nationally. I want to see a whole scale reduction in the number of disposable plastics produced. It is time that we properly dispose of those plastics that we do manufacture and that we have systems in place so that much of what is generated can be reused.

Julia Stevenson, Washington  DC

Everyday I see photos and hear reports of the plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways. We know that microplastics are ingested by all of us, by sea life, and by land creatures. Plastics are just thrown out with no thought to the consequences. My heart is heavy thinking of the seabirds, turtles, and fish that are eating plastics, thinking it is real food. They are suffering on a massive scale. This impacts all of us as we, too, eat seafood. To pass this act would reduce the plastic stream and further the cleanup.

Judith Angley, Gainesville  FL

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

I live on Hawaii Island.  Volunteers clean up tons of plastic waste that accumulates on our beaches every month.  Our sea turtles and monk seals, both endangered species, are especially at risk from this debris.  Our oceans being polluted with plastic rubbish is not acceptable! If humans stopped polluting our oceans with plastic waste, my beaches would be clean and beautiful.  Marine animals could live without the risk of dying from eating or being trapped in plastic garbage. My spirit would be free of the sadness that fills my heart. Please pass this plastic bill and free all our spirits. 

Linda Morgan, Ocean View  HI

This is important to me because we have very few, if any, places left in America that are not affected by plastic pollution. We need to save our wildlife and earth from pollution, especially from one-use plastics. Everyone would benefit from less plastic pollution and we would have a cleaner world.

Celeste Arnold, Boise  ID


People tend to use any/all waterways as toilets, not understanding that this waste is not degrading, has serious consequences to marine and other wildlife, and is toxic to the environment and people. Our “throw-away society” is responsible for the state of our oceans and lands. The chemicals used by plastic producers initiates this toxic cycle. I already use non-plastic grocery bags and utensils. I recycle. It would be beneficial if everyone was re-trained to not depend on plastics. Not having plastics available would mandate such a change.

Diane Vandiver, Bolingbrook  IL

Plastic never goes away, and it’s destroying the lives of the animals in the ocean in horrifying ways. The production of plastic includes the use of fossil fuels, which speeds up the overall problem of climate change. It’s vital for the health of all humans that plastic production is slowed down as quickly as possible.

Karisha Kirk, Bloomington  IN

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

Plastic is everywhere and will have unexpected health consequences.  It is not compostable and adds to our landfills. When it does not make it to the landfill it ends up on our streets which empty into our streams, rivers and oceans.  When it does break down very slowly in the oceans, it is absorbed into sea creatures’ tissues and then we or some other creatures eat them. I really don’t need plastic in my body’s cells; I’m bionic enough.

Pamela Glaze, Louisville  KY

On my daily walks with my dogs around my neighbourhood, I routinely fill a grocery bag of plastic trash from the streets. And I understand scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. We cannot continue to treat our beautiful planet like a garbage dump. We must act now. I fear desperately for the future of my children and grandchildren.

Lisa Landsverk, Cambridge  MA

Plastic pollution is ubiquitous in the world’s oceans. It is breaking down into micro-bits of plastic and entering the food chain and even then being consumed by humans. We need to dramatically turn the tide. This is no less a threat to the world than many crises that receive much more attention. This is a hugely important issue to me personally.

Richard Klyver, Bar Harbor  ME

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

Plastic pollution is killing sea animals who ingest it. It is destroying the beauty of beaches.  Both of these issues are moral and economic problems. But if caring for the animals and places that we use for making a living and for recreational enjoyment are not enough, microplastics are now found throughout the world, including on mountain tops. We are ingesting these and, as a result, may be poisoning ourselves. This, along with our changing climate are the two greatest threats we face. We can find a way out and provide for our descendants a place where they and all life can survive and thrive, or we can continue to trash it and kill other life as well as undoubtedly our own. No turtle, fish, bird or whale should have to eat plastic. I don’t want a world without these animals. I don’t want plastics to contribute to suffering or stand by and see it happen.

Misty Jackson, Leslie  MI

I recently traveled the country from north to south. It is appalling to see the amount of plastic in our environment – from large sheets of plastic wrapped around tree branches to bottles carelessly thrown in with regular trash. If plastic was properly recycled, then repurposed, it might not be such a big deal.  We have alternatives: reusable glass bottles and glass storage containers, for example. We need to wean ourselves away from plastic. Corporations and manufacturers can use alternatives. Our family has largely done that. We as a society can also do this. It is our natural environment and the birds and animals that are harmed by plastics that concern me most.

Ann Miller, Duluth  MN

As divers, we have seen firsthand the appalling effects of plastic pollution around our fragile planet’s oceans; even our rivers are affected. Microplastics are found in all of us, up and down the food chain. And still humanity does little to stem the overwhelming tide of plastic pollution. This apathy and carelessness must end now because all species are at risk. I try very hard to not buy single use plastics, but sometimes I have no choice. Plant-based plastics are available, like our Co-op’s Vegware, thank goodness. And only #1 and #2 plastics can be recycled in Bozeman. So much ends up in our landfills, but around the world more ends up in our imperiled oceans. I want to shop sustainably and this act would help me do that.

Gail Richardson, Bozeman  MT

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

We have killed about 95% of the world’s whales. The few that remain have had to live in our sewage for decades, along with all the other sea creatures. Now we have added millions of tons of plastic and other debris. About one half million innocent whales and dolphins die each year from entanglement. Isn’t it time we gave them a break?

Doug Franklin, Hayesville  NC

All you need to do is look on YouTube for a vast supply of videos detailing the amount of plastic trash in our oceans. We are killing ourselves and the planet’s wildlife with our excess. We will all benefit from reduced plastic use. Banning the use of single-use plastics would greatly help our overburdened waste and recycling streams.

Janet Fotos, Hollis  NH

It wasn’t that long ago that we did everything without plastic. While there have been technological advances since then, I feel we would survive as a culture if we went back to the days where we weren’t littering our land with plastic that leaches chemicals into our soil and water.  Plastic kills fish and birds and is endangering our health. I find I have to bend over backwards to avoid single-use plastic. If it were law, I would be able to get products that I enjoy without the guilt of the waste that comes with them. My neighbors would be caring for the planet better without even trying.

Cori Bishop, Egg Harbor City  NJ

Plastic pollution is more than beaches and coastlines full of floating bottles. It is now also micro-bits of plastic that find their way even into fish at the bottom of the sea. It is not only endangering nature, it is endangering our health, which depends on the health of the environment. This is not a sentimental matter. It is a matter of survival for the planet. There is no Planet B. I am not an island, I am part of a whole, and the health of that whole, whether it be a village in Africa, the coast of an island like Hong Kong, or a beach in California (where I have family)—it’s all a part of me.

Isabel Sena, Jackson Heights  NY

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

Plastics are not transient in the environment, they are a permanent addition with known and unknown consequences. We know we are consuming plastic microfibers on a daily basis, we know microfibers are displacing plankton in the oceans, we know microfibers are ubiquitous – in the air, transported by water, contaminating everything. What we don’t know is the end result of all this plastic incursion. What we do know is that it doesn’t belong here and we’re responsible for cleaning it up. Rather than making it a personal choice, the act would make it a fact of life. Not something we choose to do, but something we have to do – even if some can’t see the rationale behind it.

Peter Beves, Cincinnati  OH

Our dependence on plastic has imperiled our oceans and rivers, forests and parks.  The power of the industry has blocked attempts to move to green alternatives. For the sake of the planet, we must reject plastic. This legislation would be a powerful boost to green alternatives to plastic, especially in consumer goods packaging.

Laura Horowitz, Pittsburgh  PA


All the bags and bottles are wasteful and merely a deplorable convenience for humans who are careless about the planet.  All this stuff is made from petroleum which is destroying the environment in other ways as well, including causation of global warming.  I say phase it all out. Remember the convenience fondly if you’re inclined, but this cannot go on. It would save animals and give me a whole lot of peace of mind.  That’s enough.

Craig Hall, Greenville  SC

For the safety of our children’s future food, for the health of the sea animal population, and for the well-being of the whole earth, plastic pollution must be curtailed. This is of enormous importance. I care about healthy oceans and a sustainable environment. I want future generations to be able to enjoy the beauty of a healthy planet.

Erika Lehmann, Dimock  SD

Please add your voice to ours by writing a comment on our letter.

As a mother and a grandmother, I am very concerned for the health and viability of the planet that our children and future generations will inherit. We have a duty to our communities, families and most importantly, children to ensure their safety and well-being through environmentally-sound and sustainable policies. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution bill would greatly reduce the production of these products in the US. Less plastic production will use less fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas. This will make a better world for our children and their offspring.

Juli Kring, Houston  TX

Plastic ingestion is causing population declines among marine species, which threatens our fisheries, and thus, the global economy. Additionally, the loss of keystone species threatens the stability of the ecosystems we depend on for ecosystem services, such as food and flood control. Ecosystem collapse also contributes to increases in disease transmission and evolution of new strains of diseases (e.g., cholera outbreaks from Vibrio species not normally found together sharing new genes that increase virulence). As an ecologist, I understand there are many indirect effects we will all benefit from by reducing plastic waste. However, even far from the coast, we benefit by reducing waste in general and switching to compostable or more recyclable materials.

Becky Williams, Vernal  UT

Plastic pollution is not just unsightly and a risk to wildlife, it is a fossil fuel product driving climate change. It is full of harmful chemicals as well, such as BPA and phthalates. Micro plastics, so small that we can’t even see them, have been found everywhere we look for them-sand, water, salt, soil, even beer! We need to stop production of plastic for uses where safer, non-fossil fuel-derived materials can be used. Banning the most toxic plastics such as vinyl and polystyrene would be a good step forward. I don’t want fracking being done to produce vast quantities of single-use products and packaging! I don’t want toxic chemicals or microplastics in my body or in my children’s bodies.

Peggy Gilges, Charlottesville  VA

Sustainability is crucial to everyone’s future. We need to make effective recycling a priority. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act was passed in 1976, and yet this nation is still struggling to meet the requirements of that legislation. Without a meaningful program to control the re-update of consumer materials, we will condemn the future to the inadequacies of the present. Put money and effort into recycling programs that work. This needs to be a priority and the legislators need to spearhead this activity. Make it happen. Excuses will not suffice.

Michael Gan, Kennewick  WA

In less than 40 years we have lost more than half of all wildlife worldwide and we have created a very polluted Earth.  We now find plastic as a major worldwide pollution, even in the oceans! We cannot continue this way. We need to treat the Earth with greater care, sustainably.  There is no “Planet B” for us. This Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act will have an immediate impact. We will see severe problems in the near future if this bill is not put into law.

Steve Deibele, Kiel  WI

Please add your voice by writing a comment on our letter.

The Ocean River Institute provides opportunities to make a difference and go the distance for savvy stewardship of a greener and bluer planet Earth.  www.oceanriver.org 

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