Contact: Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623  

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2015) - Today, the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), an advisory group to the United Nations, released the findings of a three year study, ' Sources, fate, and effects of microplastics in the marine environment-a global assessment .' Among the conclusions, the report provides an action-oriented recommendation to "utilize end-of-life plastic as a valuable resource" as part of a waste reduction strategy. The assessment was conducted by GESAMP experts, and was funded in part by the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and PlasticsEurope. 

The following statement can be attributed to Steve Russell, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council:

"The GESAMP assessment adds to a  recent study published in Science Magazine that identified the largest sources of plastic in the ocean coming from high growth countries that lack waste management infrastructure. 

"We agree that plastic waste should be treated as a valuable resource and recycled or recovered for energy after use.

"In the United States and around the globe, plastics makers are working to prevent and address marine litter. In 2011 leaders from many of the world's plastics associations signed The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter . This public 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 since 2011  185 projects have been completed or are in progress in various parts of the world.

"Some of these efforts include helping to sponsor the Curbside Value Partnership, a leader in promoting community recycling programs; funding Keep America Beautiful's national consumer-focused recycling campaign, 'I Want to Be Recycled'; supporting legislation and voluntary efforts 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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