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Congressman Lowenthal, Senator Udall call on President to prioritize growing global crisis of plastics pollution

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico are calling on President Trump to elevate the priority of tackling plastic pollution in international forums and show America’s leadership in responding to this global crisis.

In a letter sent to the President, the Congressmembers wrote, “We were encouraged to see that 187 countries recently signed an international agreement to restrict global plastic waste trade. That action, to add plastic to the United Nations-supported Basel Convention, did not include the United States, who is not a party to that treaty. This has created a public perception that the U.S. is not willing to participate in reducing plastic pollution around the world.”

The problem, the Congressmembers wrote, is that, “Currently, the U.S. counts plastic waste that is shipped overseas as ‘recycled,’ but we know this to be far from the truth. Since China stopped accepting waste products for recycling in 2017, several countries in Asia have become a destination for these items. Unfortunately, most of these countries lack safe and secure recycling facilities to handle imported waste from the U.S. and other countries. As a result, the plastic waste either piles up, or worse yet, is burned in open pits or ends up finding its way into waterways and the ocean.”

“We believe the U.S can show global leadership on plastic pollution by engaging in international discussions and implementing domestic policies that will effectively minimize our plastic waste at home,” Congressman Lowenthal and Senator Udall conclude, calling on the President to ensure that his administration, “… identifies new policy solutions for the responsible minimization and recycling of plastic waste and other streams of U.S. scrap material.”

Click here to read the full text of the letter.

This article was released by the Office of Congressman Alan Lowenthal.