Enough with the Plastic Already!:
Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act

New Bill Takes on Source of Plastic Pollution

Ground-Breaking Federal Legislation Takes Comprehensive Approach to Plastic Pollution Crisis

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia – 11 February 2020 -- The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), commends Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) for their leadership and for introducing the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act to Congress today. The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act is the first comprehensive bill in Congress to address the plastic pollution crisis, reducing unnecessary plastic and reforming our broken waste management system.

"Plastic pollution is a crisis that affects our communities, our waterways, and even our bodies," Udall said. "We have a responsibility to act now to address this problem before future generations are burdened with the overwhelming health and social effects of plastic pollution."

Globally, the plastics industry already produces more than 335 million tons of plastic each year, and this volume continues to increase. Left unchecked, global plastic production is projected to triple by 2050.

"It is irresponsible for us to ignore this crisis which is choking our waterways and wildlife and impacting our environment and public health," said Lowenthal. "Our comprehensive and holistic legislation will create a more robust domestic recycling infrastructure, reduce our dependence on single-use plastics, and more meaningfully protect our communities from the negative impact of these products."

As a part of the Break Free From Plastic movement, COARE has worked to create and support smart legislation. Through its "Enough with the plastic already!" campaign, COARE seeks to reduce the amount of oceanbound waste by helping people become more aware of how their habits affect the world around them. COARE raises public awareness of some very commonly overlooked sources of trash, and encourages people everywhere to examine their choices.

"Every day, the over abundance of plastic litters our streets, pollutes our streams, and poisons our oceans," said Christopher Chin, COARE's Executive Director. "It is literally everywhere: in the air that we breath, the water we drink, and in the food we eat. This is the first federal bill to recognize the problem of unrelenting overproduction of plastic rather than simply examining its symptoms. We cannot recycle our way out of this problem, and the time for false solutions and rhetoric is over. We are encouraged by the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which finally endeavors to engage Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), to shift the onus of this problem from its victims back to its creators."

The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education, Inc. (COARE) is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its purpose is to study our oceans and increase public awareness of the earth's marine environment through educational programs and outreach. COARE seeks to enlighten people, young and old, to the plight of the oceans, to change the way they think and act, and to encourage them to create positive and lasting change. For more information about COARE, visit https://www.coare.org.


Click here to download a copy of the Press Release (133Kb PDF).

BFFP Pollution Act Press Release

What you can do to help

  • Contact your lawmakers and let them know how important this issue is, and that you would like them to co-sponsor and support this bill; (S. 3263, H.R. 5845)
  • Consider your own impact, and always seek and demand reusable options;
  • Support "bag-ban", and straw-reduction bills in your state or city;