WASHINGTON (July 25, 2018) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement supporting House passage of House amendment to S. 756, the “Save Our Seas Act” of 2018, sponsored by Reps. Don Young (R-AK) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and 43 other House cosponsors. This important bipartisan legislation reauthorizes the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program, and focuses and directs the U.S. government’s help in addressing international marine debris and land-based waste management solutions in the places that need it the most. The following statement may be attributed to Steve Russell, vice president of ACC’s Plastics Division:

“As a longtime supporter and champion of this bicameral legislation, the American Chemistry Council commends the House passage of the “Save Our Seas Act” and thanks the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee and all the sponsors and co-sponsors for their steadfast leadership. The “Save Our Seas Act,” which reauthorizes the Marine Debris Act, includes provisions to further study land-based waste management solutions and causes of marine debris, and provides increased investment and technical assistance to help expand waste management systems in rapidly industrializing nations. This important legislation will help direct waste management resources where they are most urgently needed.

We strongly support the Act’s focus on international cooperation as a key solution in addressing marine debris. Studies show that rapidly developing countries that lack basic waste collection and management account for a majority of trash entering our Ocean.

“Legislation is one part of the answer. We and our members are working with governments, NGOs, and the private sector to deliver sustainable solutions to marine debris. Through our “Global Declaration,” 75 plastics associations from 40 countries have launched 355 projects that address education, research, public policy, best practices, plastics recycling/recovery, and plastic pellet containment.

“In May America’s plastic resin makers announced an ambitious goal: to recycle or recover all plastic packaging in the United States by 2040. Achieving a more circular economy for plastics will enable society to continue to harness plastics’ essential benefits, like enhancing the safety and sanitary packaging of food and personal care products, while helping to protect and restore the environment for future generations.

We urge the Senate to bring this much needed legislation to a swift floor vote.”

Follow Marine Litter Solutions on Twitter @ForCleanOceans.