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WASHINGTON (May 27, 2016) – The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) today approved a resolution titled “Marine Plastic Litter and Microplastics.” Building on the recommendations in the report released earlier this week, “Marine Plastic Debris and Microplastics: Global lessons and research to inspire action and guide policy,” the UNEA resolution “stresses that prevention and environmentally sound management of waste, is key to long-term success in combating marine pollution.”

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement, which may be attributed to Steve Russell, vice president of plastics:

“Today’s UN Environment Assembly resolution adds to the growing consensus for improved and expanded waste management systems, particularly in emerging economies. The resolution is consistent with the UNEP report issued earlier this week, and in line with prior research sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance® in “Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean” and with commitments and programs underway by plastics makers around the globe.

“Since 2011, plastics makers have been partners in many efforts to research and prevent marine debris around the world under our “Declaration of the Global Plastics Solutions for Solutions on Marine Litter,” which has been signed by 65 plastics associations in 34 countries. The Declaration focuses on education, public policy, best practices, plastics recycling and recovery, plastic pellet containment, and research. Our recently released 2016 Progress Report lists 260 projects that have been completed or are in progress in various parts of the world since the effort began.

“Strong, lightweight plastics are amazing materials that provide important societal benefits including energy and resource savings, preventing food waste, improved healthcare and consumer protection. But when plastics are improperly managed, their full sustainability benefits aren’t realized. We agree with UNEA that solutions require the cooperation of industry, civil society and other stakeholders.”

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