The Break Free From Plastic Act 2020: A bill to sustain the States beyond single-use stuff

There’s no denying that plastic is choking our planet and public health. Sure we can commit to ditching disposable plastic in our personal lives––but how much simpler would these efforts be if the nation empowered our freedom from plastic pollution?

As a global leader, the U.S. needs to prioritize lasting solutions for our planet and public health over disposable plastic and temporary profit. It’s time to confront our dependence on waste and stop throwing away our health, money, and resources for a tomorrow that’s truly indisposable.

On February 11, 2020, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and Representative Alan Lowenthal of California introduced the first comprehensive bill to address plastic pollution and our broken throw-away system to Congress. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 aims to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic by making producers responsible for them, rather than the individuals and communities that consume them.

“We cannot expect that 7 billion & counting people can consume based on a throw-away model. This is not gonna work for humanity long-term. It’s too much energy, too many resources, too much water, too much waste, too much pollution. And it’s not that recycling isn’t part of the solution––it’s just nowhere near enough.UPSTREAM Imagineer & CEO Matt Prindiville

The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act is designed to:

  • Require producers of covered products (packaging, containers, food serviceware, paper) to collect and process product waste that would normally burden state and local governments;
  • Require producers to invest in U.S. domestic recycling and composting infrastructure and cover waste management costs and cleanup;
  • Create a nation-wide beverage container refund deposit program;
  • Ban certain single-use plastic products that are not recyclable;
  • Ban single-use plastic carryout bags and place fee on the distribution of remaining carryout bags;
  • Establish minimum recycled content requirements for beverage containers, packaging and food-service products;
  • Spur investments in U.S. domestic recycling and composting infrastructure;
  • Prohibit plastic waste from being shipped to developing countries;
  • Protect state and local governments that enact more stringent standards; and
  • Place a temporary pause on new plastic facilities until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency updates and creates important regulations on those facilities.

The more power we put into a future free of plastic pollution, the more promise it has to become our reality.

Do your part for the BFFP U.S. movement by sending a letter to the Federal Senate and House.

Start conversations that take the burden of plastic pollution off consumers and look toward corporate responsibility.

Challenge the assumption that plastic trash is your neighbors’ fault by posting photos of branded litter in your community and tagging the company with #IsThisYours?

Get all the facts on how we got here, what’s next, and of course, SHARE widely!