Amsterdam, 19 October 2018 –Earlier this month President Trump signed the Save Our Seas Act. This law makes it possible to include provisions on waste management in future trade agreements. Trump stated that he as president would do everything to prevent other countries using the ocean as a waste dump. Suggesting the involvement of Asian countries, he said at the signing: “The bad news is it floats toward us.”
This law, however, does not refer to America’s own contribution to the plastic soup.
The U.S. plastics industry supports the Save Our Seas Act, because it does not contain provisions to limit its own plastic production. On 28 September, CAL Dooley, President of the American Chemistry Council, stated in the U.S. Senate. that plastic in the ocean was especially the result of a failing waste infrastructure in developing countries. The fact that Western multinationals put plastic packaging (e.g. mini packaging consisting of multiple foil layers) on the market in these countries in the knowledge that they will not be collected nor recycled, remained unmentioned.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the only federal institution in the United States with a formal programme aimed at combating plastic pollution of the oceans. This programme was discontinued shortly after Trump came into office. The good news is that the Save Our Seas Act reactivates the NOAA programme. Over the next five years, the programme receives 10 million $ per year.
Also read: India will abolish single use plastics.
Also read: Investment industry causes tsunami of plastic .