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Efforts to Reduce Marine Debris Deserve ‘All Hands on Deck’

Allyson Wilson (703) 741-5171
April 22, 2010

ARLINGTON, VA (April 22, 2010) – Growing evidence of the amount of litter and debris in our world’s oceans and waterways is deservedly capturing public attention.  Marine debris is made up of a variety of materials, from a variety of sources, but there is one thing we all can agree on:  even one piece of plastic in the ocean is one too many.  Plastics don’t belong in the ocean – they belong in the recycling bin.  Plastics are a valuable resource – too valuable to waste as litter and as trash.  Many of the most commonly used plastics, things like bottles and bags, are readily recyclable. 

All of us share a responsibility to help reduce litter and prevent our coastlines and oceans from becoming repositories for waste.  Plastic makers agree with the majority of scientists and policy makers who have studied marine debris and determined that effective solutions will  require strong regional and international partnerships working to prevent litter and increase recycling. 

The Plastics Division at ACC is actively engaged in efforts to help reduce marine debris from both consumer and industrial sources.  For many years our efforts focused on  helping to create a nationwide recycling infrastructure for plastics.  And most recently, we expanded those efforts by placing nearly 700 recycling bins on California’s beaches, parks and in coastal communities.

We’re joining in efforts to study the Pacific Gyre with Project Kaisei, working to educate children on marine debris, supporting a new national campaign to fight litter, assisting major grocers and retailers in their efforts to establish plastic bag recycling programs, encouraging online discussions on how to advance recycling, and supporting the development of more efficient packaging.  This month, as part of our Earth Month activities, we launched or expanded three new bag recycling programs in Philadelphia, King County, Washington and the State of Florida.

We all share the desire to protect our environment, and plastics makers are dedicated to being part of the solution to marine debris.  Working together, we can contribute to cleaner oceans, beautiful coastlines, and a better environment for future generations. 

Learn more about plastic makers involvement in marine debris solutions and check out our recycling blog.  You can also follow our plastics recycling twitter handle @Recycle_Plastic at http://twitter.com/recycle_plastic

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