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Plastic Pollution Initiative Update: Progress and Big Wins!


Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act gains cosponsors for introduction in House

As part of Surfrider Foundation's Coastal Recreation Hill Day, Surfrider activists asked members of Congress to support the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act. Already introduced in the Senate by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the bill will be introduced in the House by California Congressman Mike Levin on Monday, March 11. Thanks to the efforts of Surfrider and our colleagues, the bill will have at least 35 original cosponsors when introduced, signifying the broad and growing support for keeping our waterways and coastal ecosystems free of plastic pellets!

Good news coming from Florida and Maine

HB321 / SB602 (Release of Balloons), sponsored by Representative Linda Chaney (R - St. Pete Beach) and Senator Nick DiCeglie (R - St. Petersburg,) is headed to the Governor’s Desk to be signed into law! These bills ban the intentional release of balloons and treat balloons like any other type of litter under state law, and is a priority campaign for Surfrider’s 11 chapters and 8 clubs in Florida.

Maine recently passed a law that severely restricts and regulates so-called “chemical” or “advanced” recycling. Industry "solutions" such as chemical or "advanced" recycling are only ploys to justify the continued production of plastic and harms our communities and the environment. We hope that this law will be the first of many in the nation!  Read the new law here.

Ocean Friendly Restaurants urge the federal government to reduce single-use plastic products and packaging

One of the Plastic Pollution Initiative's federal priorities this year is to strengthen the plastic procurement phase-out plan by the federal General Services Administration (GSA), the largest purchaser of goods and services in the United States. 55 Ocean Friendly Restaurants signed and submitted this comment letter, urging GSA to propose a strong plan that includes all single-use plastic products and packaging. If small businesses like our OFRs can eliminate single-use plastic, then the GSA can too!

Beach Cleanups March On

In just these first two months of the year, more than 2,300 Surfrider volunteers have removed nearly 12,000 pounds of trash and recycling from our beaches during 131 cleanup events. Surfrider’s Cleanup Database shows that more than 90,000 individual items have been cleaned up out of our coastal environment since January 1st this year. The top material being found by cleanup volunteers? You guessed it - plastic. Join the fight against plastic pollution and attend a Surfrider beach cleanup near you.