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Study on Microplastic in Arctic Ice Helps Us Better Understand Scope of Marine Debris Problem


Contact: Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623  
Email: Allyson_Wilson@americanchemistry.com

WASHINGTON (May 29, 2014) – A recent study in Science magazine (“Global warming releases microplastic legacy frozen in Arctic Sea ice,”) examined plastic litter found in polar ice. The American Chemistry Council addresses this study in the following statement, which may be attributed to Steve Russell, vice president of plastics:

“While we have not yet reviewed this particular study, America’s plastics makers welcome this new information and will continue to support research into the causes, potential consequences and solutions for the important issue of marine debris. We agree wholeheartedly that litter of any type, including plastics, doesn't belong in our oceans or waterways. 

“Plastics makers are partners in many efforts to research and prevent marine debris, such as working with governments and conservationists to encourage recycling and discourage litter, working to educate youth on the link between litter and marine health, promoting industry-wide practices to contain plastic resin pellets (the raw materials that are melted and molded to create plastic products), and working with the NOAA to advance scientific understanding of marine litter. And in California we have placed 700 recycling bins and educational signage in state parks-owned sites along coastal areas.

“Given the scope of this challenge, long term solutions will require both regional and global coordination. For our part, America’s plastics makers are leading the plastic’s industry’s “Global Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter,” which has been signed by more than sixty plastics associations in 34 countries. Through this initiative, more than 150 projects focused on researching, preventing or reducing marine debris are underway around the globe.

“Marine debris is too big of an issue for any one organization, government, country or region to solve. But by sharing information and tools, and by working together, we can make a difference.”

» Learn more about marine debris solutions

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