Reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the Ocean
Created by Christine Casabar
This campaign needs to raise $5,000 to hire one of our lobbyists. 100% of donations go towards paying lobbying fees for this issue.
I believe in the three Rs; reduce, recycle and reuse. The problem is that our garbage is out of control and I believe the island of plastic in the Pacific is directly responsible for the ocean currents slowing and causing weather events. Plastic is fossil fuel and can be converted into energy. We need a world effort to diminish what's out in the Pacific as it is now double the size of Texas.
If we don't fix our plastic use, our planet cannot survive. Plastic cannot be repurposed into roads due to particulate matter causing terrible pollution (think microbeads) and damage to our fauna.
About Ocean Plastics
Plastic litter in the ocean is among the most severe problems facing the Marine ecosystem and global sustainability. Over one million seabirds and one hundred-thousand marine mammals are killed every year as a result of marine litter. Unfortunately, the problem is only getting worse, as every year the amount of plastic litter entering the ocean increases by about 5%. Plastic is particularly dangerous to marine life because it contains poisonous chemicals which can be ingested either through eating large plastic chunks or simply by imbibing microplastic debris, the result of degrading plastic in the ocean.
Plastic waste in the ocean is not only detrimental to wildlife, but costs humans millions of dollars in related costs. The United States alone spends an estimated $10.8 Billion annually on litter cleanup.
Moreover, the costs to the fishing industry, to the coastal tourist industry, and to health care (as a result of people having consumed fish with plastic related poisons) are significant but unknown. And as overfishing and global warming threaten marine life biodiversity, significant plastic waste in the ocean is only compounding the problem.
Long term, the world needs to make a concerted effort to clean up its oceans and remove plastic waste. However, until the vast amount of plastic being discarded into the ocean every year is controlled, any removal efforts will be in vain.
Therefore, we need to organize to start reducing the amount of plastic litter that enters the oceans every year. The first step is to promote regulations and programs that reduce the amount of plastic used and improve incentives to utilize recycling.
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What will the lobbyist do?
Help from a #lobbyist4good will be essential in the fight to reduce plastic waste in our oceans for several reasons. First, a lobbyist can leverage their policy expertise to help recommend policies which would reduce the amount of total plastic used every year and create incentive structures to encourage people to utilize recycling more often. Second, the fight to reduce plastic litter will be hardfought, as the Plastic Bag Lobby is a powerful and well organized interest group that has demonstrated its willingness to fight regulations on plastic use.
To fight back, we need a lobbyist with intimate knowledge of the Hill who is able to leverage his relationships with legislators to push for reasonable regulations that won’t be killed by the plastic industry. In particular, the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation normally deals with matters related to plastic pollution, so we will be looking to hire a lobbyist with good relationships with this committee and a strong knowledge of how to push legislation through the committee process.