What is Producer Responsibility for Marine Plastic Pollution?

Plastic that pollutes our oceans and waterways has severe impacts on our environment and our economy. Seabirds, whales, sea turtles and other marine life are eating marine plastic pollution and dying from choking, intestinal blockage and starvation. Scientists are investigating the long-term impacts of toxic pollutants absorbed, transported, and consumed by fish and other marine life, including the potential effects on human health.

This pollution also causes substantial costs to taxpayers and local governments that must clean this trash off of beaches and streets to protect public health, prevent flooding from trash-blocked storm drains, and avoid lost tourism revenue from filthy beaches. Anyone who’s enjoyed a riverside park or a beach in this state has probably experienced the blight of plastic trash. Given that California’s tourism and leisure industry generated $92 billion in GDP for the state in 2010, we can’t afford to let this problem go unaddressed. A 2012 report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found California’s coastal cities and counties spend about $420 million each year to combat litter and curtail marine debris.

This video shows how a new program will make producers of plastic products (particularly single-use packaging) do their fair share to keep plastic out of our oceans, rivers, and lakes. It will encourage industry to make smarter, less polluting products, and it will save taxpayers and local governments money by reducing waste management, litter cleanup and recycling costs.

Published on Apr 30, 2013
NRDC Flix

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