Contact: Jennifer Killinger (202) 249-6619  

WASHINGTON (December 10, 2014) - The Five Gyres Institute today released a study that estimates the quantities of plastics in the world's oceans ("Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea").

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement:

"America's plastics makers wholeheartedly agree that littered plastics of any kind do not belong in the marine environment. Every day, plastics contribute to sustainability by enabling us to reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover more of the resources that we rely on-and by helping to lower energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Even after plastics have fulfilled their initial purpose, these materials should be treated as valuable resources and  recycled whenever possible or  recovered for their energy value when they cannot.

"Recent multi-stakeholder efforts to develop solutions for marine litter-including a brochure (2014) produced by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP, an advisory group to the United Nations) and the Honolulu Strategy (2011)-have highlighted the importance of using modern, integrated waste management infrastructure and practices to combat marine litter throughout the globe. This includes recycling and energy recovery, and the American Chemistry Council's Plastics Division and its  member companies support these recommendations.

"Plastics makers in the United States and around the globe are engaged in many efforts to prevent and address marine litter. In 2011 leaders from the world's plastics associations signed The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter , a public commitment aimed at contributing to real solutions to address marine litter. The commitment focuses on education, public policy, best practices, plastics recycling and recovery, plastic pellet containment , and research. Today, 60 plastics associations in 34 countries have signed on to the Global Declaration , and 185 projects have been completed or are in progress in various parts of the world ( see 2014 progress report ).

"Some of these include support for the Curbside Value Partnership , a leader in promoting community recycling programs; Keep America Beautiful's national consumer-focused recycling campaign, 'I Want to Be Recycled' ; support for legislation in New Jersey and Illinois to phase out microbeads in personal care products; and placing hundreds of recycling bins on California's beaches through the  'Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. Recycle™' initiative."


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