Event Title

Leveraging new opportunities for voluntary action and policies to reduce sources of plastics in the Salish Sea

Presentation Abstract

Thanks to a dramatic increase in the public’s awareness of micro- and macroplastics in our oceans and in the Salish Sea, there is currently an opportunity to accelerate the pace of policy change to reduce sources of these plastic pollutants. In addition, new data are being generated through pilot testing in local watersheds, using new EPA standardized litter assessment protocols, that better identify and quantify sources of plastics. These baseline data, along with data from previous cleanups and studies, provide concrete convincing information that can help improve messaging for the public and lead to voluntary action and policy changes. Federal, state and tribal agencies run litter and marine debris programs. All local jurisdictions work to encourage avoidance, recycling, reuse behaviors as well as promote anti-littering campaigns. There are a large number of beach cleanups on a regular basis with hundreds of volunteers and extensive media coverage. Under the radar, many communities conduct cleanups for aesthetic reasons. In Washington, there are fourteen plastic bag ordinances in place and many more are underway. Styrofoam food serviceware bans are also in process in several jurisdictions. On the horizon are more policy changes including extended producer responsibility and efforts to phase out other single-use disposable plastic items. Improving recycling content requirements, environmentally preferred purchasing, and infrastructure are also on deck. The new China Sword initiative, restricting imports of recyclables and scrap, provides a major opportunity to get overdue standards upgrades in place.

Session Title

Plastic Pollution and Marine Debris in the Salish Sea: Monitoring, Education, and Management and Policy Solutions

Conference Track

SSE13: Plastics

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE13-347

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 2:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 2:15 PM Apr 5th, 2:30 PM

Leveraging new opportunities for voluntary action and policies to reduce sources of plastics in the Salish Sea

Thanks to a dramatic increase in the public’s awareness of micro- and macroplastics in our oceans and in the Salish Sea, there is currently an opportunity to accelerate the pace of policy change to reduce sources of these plastic pollutants. In addition, new data are being generated through pilot testing in local watersheds, using new EPA standardized litter assessment protocols, that better identify and quantify sources of plastics. These baseline data, along with data from previous cleanups and studies, provide concrete convincing information that can help improve messaging for the public and lead to voluntary action and policy changes. Federal, state and tribal agencies run litter and marine debris programs. All local jurisdictions work to encourage avoidance, recycling, reuse behaviors as well as promote anti-littering campaigns. There are a large number of beach cleanups on a regular basis with hundreds of volunteers and extensive media coverage. Under the radar, many communities conduct cleanups for aesthetic reasons. In Washington, there are fourteen plastic bag ordinances in place and many more are underway. Styrofoam food serviceware bans are also in process in several jurisdictions. On the horizon are more policy changes including extended producer responsibility and efforts to phase out other single-use disposable plastic items. Improving recycling content requirements, environmentally preferred purchasing, and infrastructure are also on deck. The new China Sword initiative, restricting imports of recyclables and scrap, provides a major opportunity to get overdue standards upgrades in place.