More groups urge regulation of petrochemical industry’s threat to communities, oceans and our climate

A growing movement is demanding the federal government better regulate pollution from plastic-making plants. People are waking up to the dangers of plastics production, which turns our oversupply of fracked gas into throwaway plastics that fill our oceans and pollute our communities.

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Activists deliver a legal petition to EPA Region 9 headquarters on Dec. 3. (Credit: Center for Biological Diversity)

More than 360 community and conservation organizations signed onto a legal petition I authored and submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 3. The petition demands strict new air-pollution standards for petrochemical plants that make plastic.

It follows a similar petition my Center for Biological Diversity colleagues submitted in July, demanding updated water pollution rules for these plants. …

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Plastic pollutes oceans and beaches around the world. (Credit: NOAA)

Taxpayers subsidize creation of plastic every step of the way

That plastic water bottle you just bought is more expensive than you think. You’ve already paid for that plastic many times over. And we’ll all keep paying as it becomes litter in our oceans, landscapes or landfills.

Those huge costs are worth considering as plans move forward for a massive new plastic plant west of New Orleans.

First, Americans subsidize extraction of fossil fuels — the feedstock from which plastics are made — to the tune of $20.5 billion each year.

This figure doesn’t include the costs of dealing with the environmental, health and climate harms caused by fossil fuel production and consumption. These costs have been estimated at up to $500 billion annually. …


Lauren Packard

Staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, focused on solving the climate and plastic pollution crises.

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