Wed. 5/26 is “Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act” Call-In Day!

Please join us on Wednesday, 5/26/21 to flood Congress with calls from across the nation urging them to fight plastic pollution by co-sponsoring the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021.

  • Action #1: Tell your representatives: Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act
  • Action #2: Tell Amazon shareholders to vote YES on reporting on single-use plastic pollution
  • Action #3: Tell Whole Foods: Take single-use plastic packaging off your shelves.

Plastic is toxic, and includes 144 chemicals or chemical groups known to be hazardous to human health. Microplastic particles are so pervasive in our food and water that the average person ingests a credit card’s worth of plastic (5g) every week. A recent study even documented microplastic particles in maternal human placentas. Breaking free from plastic would protect human health and improve fertility, helping ensure our survival as a species.

Action #1: Tell your representatives: Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act

The companies that make single-use plastics don’t have to pay for their products to be picked up and processed. That cost falls to us as ratepayers, instead. But what if single-use plastics makers were held financially responsible for their products’ end-of-life costs?

Also, plastic disproportionately harms low-income communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities by polluting their air, water and soil. Breaking free from plastic would uphold environmental justice by halting the development of new plastic facilities until necessary health and environmental regulations are updated and established.

The S.984 – Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021, would ban certain single-use plastics entirely and would shift more financial responsibility for cleaning up the others onto the companies that make them. This comprehensive legislation would:

  • Shifting the financial burden of waste management and recycling off municipalities and taxpayers to where it belongs: the producers of this waste;
  • Spurring massive investments in domestic recycling and composting infrastructure;
  • Phasing out certain single-use plastic products that aren’t recyclable;
  • Establishing minimum recycled content standards;
  • Launching a national beverage container refund program to bolster recycling rates;
  • Placing a temporary pause on new and expanding plastic facilities until the Environmental Protection Agency updates and creates vital environmental and health regulations to protect frontline and fenceline communities;
  • Prohibiting plastic waste from being exported to developing countries;
  • Require a compressive analysis of the scale of fishing gear losses by domestic and foreign fisheries, including an evaluation of the ecological, human health, and maritime safety impacts of derelict fishing gear, and recommendations on management measures;
  • And more proven policy solutions!

WHAT TO DO:

First, sign this petition (https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-the-break-free-from-plastic-pollution-act-2/) , then knock the phones off their desks in Congress, with this 10-second script below.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Rep./Sen [___] to do what is necessary to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act in their chamber.

Contacts

Senator-check: Feinstein is already a cosponsor. Padilla hasn’t signed on yet.

  • Rep. Julia Brownley: email(CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Action #2: Tell Amazon shareholders to vote YES on reporting on single-use plastic pollution

“What you don’t measure, you cannot manage.”

Anne Schroeer, director at Oceana.

WHAT TO DO:

Sign this petition here. Tell Amazon shareholders to vote YES on reporting their contribution to single-use plastic pollution.

More information: A report released in 2020 by Science Advances revealed that the U.S. contributes as much as five times more plastic to the oceans than previously thought. Companies’ decisions to put a moment’s convenience over the long-term health of our planet has led to a sharp spike in the amount of plastic Americans consume. 

Amazon has been accused of generating 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2019 of which 22 million pounds is now polluting the world’s oceans and waterways. And those numbers have risen dramatically since COVID. Worse, their plastic mailers, although marked with the  classic “chasing arrows” symbol associated with recycling, they can’t actually be recycled in most curbside pick-up programs.

But now Amazon’s shareholders have a chance to require the company to produce a report on its single-use plastic footprint. Amazon is urging them to vote “No” but our oceans need them to vote “Yes”!

Add your name to the petition link above to urge Amazon’s top 10 shareholders to vote “Yes” to requiring the company to report its plastic footpring at the Weds, May 26, 2021 $AMZN AGM.

*Amazon’s largest institutional shareholders include: Advisor Group, The Vanguard Group, BlackRock Fund Advisors, SsgA Funds Management, T. Rowe Price Associates, Fidelity Management & Research, Google Capital Management, Norther Trust Investments, Norges Bank Investment Management, and Capital Research & Management.

Action #3: Tell Whole Foods: Take single-use plastic packaging off your shelves.

  • Whole Foods Market “Mission & Values”:Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet. We’re a purpose-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. Quality is a state of mind at Whole Foods Market”
  • Whole Foods Market “Core Values”: “We Care About our Community and the Environment. We serve and support a local experience, and practice and advance environmental stewardship.”

If companies like Whole Foods don’t do their part and take decisive action, the amount of plastic waste polluting our communities will only grow.

Send a message to Whole Foods today to urge the company to take harmful single-use plastics off of its shelves. If you’d like, you are welcome to add to or replace this template with a personalized message of your own!

WHAT TO DO: Write an email letter to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey here. [Contact: john.mackey@wholefoods.com]

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey,

Every year, humans pollute the world’s oceans with more than 16 million tons of plastic — much of it used just once before being thrown away.

Whole Foods was once a leader on reducing plastic waste. Your ‘Mission & Values,” state that your purpose is to nourish people and the planet. Your “Core Values” promise that you care about communities and the environment, and will practice and advance environmental stewardship.

But lately, Whole Foods has failed to make progress on lightening its plastic footprint, and even earned an “F” in a report by nonprofit As You Sow that ranks 50 large companies on their plastic waste policies.

Now, as our plastic crisis worsens, we need Whole Foods to lead the way again. I urge Whole Foods to regain its spot as a plastic waste leader by phasing out single-use plastic packaging from its operations.

Sincerely,

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