Contact: Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 2, 2012) - In 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act, which established the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's  Marine Debris Program. Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1171, the Marine Debris Act Amendments of 2012.

Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council, issued the following statement:

"Yesterday's passage of the " Marine Debris Act Amendments of 2012 " demonstrates that our political leaders understand the importance of protecting and preserving the marine environment for future generations. If signed into law, this legislation will authorize funding to enable NOAA to continue important programs that examine the sources, prevention, reduction and removal of litter and debris in our oceans and waterways. We urge the Senate to pass this bipartisan legislation.

"Marine debris is a significant challenge that deserves thoughtful consideration and action on the part of government, scientists and industries working together. From large-scale natural disasters, such as tsunamis and typhoons, to abandoned fishing gear and litter - the causes of debris in our oceans are many and varied. 

"Implementing lasting solutions will require the establishment of regional partnerships around the globe, increased recycling and waste management infrastructure, and community-based education on litter prevention and recycling. 

"Through the American Chemistry Council, America's plastics makers have helped lead the development of the plastic's industry's global " Declaration on Solutions for Marine Litter ," which has been signed by more than sixty plastics associations in 34 countries. Through this initiative, more than 100 projects focused on researching, preventing or reducing marine debris are underway around the globe.

"In the United States, plastics makers are partnering with governments and conservationists to encourage recycling and discourage litter, working to educate children on the link between our litter and marine health, promoting industry wide practices to contain plastic pellets, and we're working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to advance scientific understanding of marine litter. In California, we have placed 700 recycling bins and educational signage in state parks-owned sites along coastal areas.

About the Plastics Division
The American Chemistry Council's  Plastics Division represents leading companies dedicated to providing innovative solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow through plastics. Ongoing innovations from America's plastics makers have led to medical advances and safety equipment that make our lives better, healthier and safer every day. And, advances in plastics are helping Americans save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease waste. Because plastics are such a valuable resource, the Plastics Division is leading efforts to "reduce, reuse, recycle and recover," including through outreach, education and access to advances in recycling technology.  


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