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Calling on Congress to ‘Break Free From Plastic’

Surfrider returned to Washington, D.C. as part of the Break Free From Plastic coalition earlier this month, continuing to call on Congressional leaders to support legislation designed to eliminate plastic pollution by reducing production, prevent plastic trash in our national parks and waterways, and ensure environmental justice is upheld during all phases of the plastic manufacturing process. Surfrider joined 43 other national advocacy organizations representing 30 organizations who participated in 93 meetings overall.

To recap, we expect the following federal bills to be reintroduced this session:

  • Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act: Comprehensive bill tackling plastics from the point of extraction to downstream waste. Anticipated Sponsors: Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) and Representative Katherine Clark (MA-5) 
  • Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act: Requires the Environmental Protection Agency to issue a final rule that prohibits certain discharges of plastic pellets and other pre-production plastic into waters of the United States. Anticipated Sponsors: Senator Richard Durbin (IL) and Representative Mike Levin (CA-49)
  • Reducing Waste in National Parks Act: Requires the National Park Service to establish a program for reducing plastic products and, if applicable, eliminate the sale and distribution of disposable plastic products. Anticipated Sponsors: Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR) and Representative Mike Quigley (IL-5)
  • Protecting Communities from Plastics Act: Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out certain activities to protect communities from the harmful effects of plastics, and for other purposes. Anticipated Sponsors: Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and Representative Jared Huffman (CA-2)

Stay up on opportunities to take action at Surfrider’s Campaigns page – and if you see your elected representative on the list above, take a moment to thank them for their support!