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The Future of Plastics Is Limited, Directing It at The Origin

The oil and gas industry is pursuing war towards wildlife, hitting species from all sides, be it local weather change, spills, or plastic pollution. All these actions are placing wildlife in jeopardy, helping produce a world right now the place more than one million species threatened with extinction, many within decades. We’re fighting again—and within the case of plastics, we’re taking the battle to the supply, demanding that the U.S. Environmental Safety Company undertake strict new water-pollution limits for industrial plants that create plastic.

The Clean Water Act requires petrochemical plants to use air pollution-management requirements primarily based on the newest science and know-how. However, for many years, the EPA has stood by Reagan-period—sure, almost 40-year-previous—needs. The petrochemical vegetation at subject make the constructing blocks for all plastics. For instance, they take refined oil or cracked pure fuel, which usually performed on the identical plant, and make it into polyethylene pellets (plastic pellets) that kind the constructing block for thousands of plastic items, like grocery baggage, shampoo bottles, and children’s toys.

Today’s petition is about correctly controlling the air pollution these crops produce; from the nasty chemicals they use to make plastic pellets to the plastic pellets themselves that get spilled or in any other case launched into the setting earlier than even being transformed into the bigger plastics polluting our oceans.

Petrochemical crops discharged 128 million pounds of pollutants into U.S. waterways final yr, their operators reported to the EPA, together with 77,859 pounds of probably the most poisonous pollution. And marine species are struggling. Lower than six months in the past, a Cuvier’s beaked whale died with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach. The plastic blocked meals from attending to the whale’s intestines, doubtless inflicting the creature to die from hunger and dehydration.

Proper now, the EPA is letting petrochemical crops off the hook for their contribution to those deaths by permitting them to make use of practically 40-12 months-outdated know-how to regulate pollution. And the petrochemical trade is gearing as much as do much more hurt, investing within the enlargement or new development of Petro-plastics plants.

In mild of the extinction and climate crises, businesses must be scouring legal guidelines and rules, in search of instruments that may be instantly used to maximize species conservation and climate change mitigation. The petition that NRDC and 280 community and conservation organizations filed in the present day with the EPA highlight a type of instruments. With this action, we open one other entrance in our battle to avoid wasting wildlife.

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