Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, has charted a course for addressing the fact that more than 99% of plastic is created from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels, including an oversupply of fracked gas, which is spurring a global boom in new plastic production.
“Global expansion of plastic production, especially with single-use plastics, has created a crisis for human health and the environment,” said Kennedy. “President Biden has failed to confront the problem. He has focused on false environmental solutions that waste billions of taxpayer dollars, as plastic pollution rapidly gets worse.”
“Plastic waste is so ubiquitous that it has entered the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and even our blood,” said Kennedy. “Some of the toxic chemicals used in everyday items such as plastic packaging can cause cancer and birth defects.”
“Our oceans, lakes and rivers are now burdened with more than 200 million tons of plastic pollution,” said Kennedy. “According to current estimates, some 11 million tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year.”
‘Good environmental policy is good for economic prosperity,’ according to the environmental advocate, who admonished corporations for not doing more over a 40-year career as a lawyer and organizer.
“President Biden has made vague pledges to reduce plastic waste by 2040, but he has failed to take on the big manufacturers that rack up huge profits recklessly churning out larger amounts of plastic every year,” said Kennedy. “There is so much more that we can and should be doing to address this global challenge.”
Plastic is causing serious environmental problems at every step of its lifecycle, said Kennedy, who said, “I have a ten-point plan to fix the problem. It is a comprehensive and ambitious approach to the plastics crisis.”
The Kennedy plan includes:
- Supporting an ambitious international plastics treaty
- Restricting hazardous plastics and chemicals
- Promoting a national bottle bill
- Coordinating an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system for packaging
- Modernizing recycling facilities
- Strengthening closed-loop recycling systems
- Banning fracking
- Limiting construction and expansion of plastic production facilities
- Ending subsidies for plastics producers
- Conducting a major national study to evaluate all sources of plastic waste
“We cannot afford four more years of Biden’s false solutions, vague promises and kowtowing to big polluters, even as plastic pollution explodes across the globe,” said Kennedy. “With your support, our nation can lead the world in fixing this rapidly growing problem.”
The founder of Waterkeeper Alliance, a New York City-based clean water advocacy group that works in 38 countries, Kennedy’s plan has been praised by environmental groups, who say it is a comprehensive and ambitious approach to the plastics crisis.
“Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s plan is a bold and necessary step to address the plastic pollution crisis,” said Lisa McCormick, a New Jersey environmentalist who has been calling for action to curb plastic pollution for years. “We need to take action now to reduce plastic production, eliminate harmful chemicals, and clean up the plastic pollution that already exists.”
“Plastic pollution threatens our right to live in healthy communities and ability to enjoy the beauty of our national parks,” said Senator Jeff Merkley, of Oregon. “Single-use plastic production threatens our nation’s most special places, and inaction to protect these spaces is unacceptable if we want to ensure our treasured national parks are safeguarded for generations to come.”
Kennedy’s plan is a significant step forward in the fight against plastic pollution. If implemented, it could help to reduce the amount of plastic pollution produced and in the environment.
The plastics pollution crisis is a major environmental challenge, with plastic waste found in every corner of the globe. Plastic pollution can harm wildlife, pollute waterways, and contribute to climate change.
“We cannot afford four more years of Biden’s false solutions, vague promises and kowtowing to big polluters, even as plastic pollution explodes across the globe” said Kennedy. “With your support, our nation can lead the world in fixing this rapidly growing problem.”