Need help stopping plastic proliferation


To the Editor:

Millions of pounds of plastics are being poured into our oceans, rivers, and streams every year. As a community that is severely affected by climate change and plastic pollution, it is important we do something.

I’m calling on our federal senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as you to actively oppose Save Our Seas 2.0 (Senate bill 1982). This bill is being promoted by the chemical industry. Save Our Seas 2.0 props up a failed plastic system in this country. In 2017 the U.S. had a dismal recycling rate of 8.4 percent before China closed its doors to our recyclables. This bill lacks a commitment to reduce the generation of plastic. We cannot solve climate change and the plastic epidemic without the reduction of plastic usage. As a community, we cannot allow for the promotion of gasification and pyrolysis, as this bill may do. This bill wants to use tax money to do a study exploring the harm and benefits of burning plastics. This is not a needed study; it is like studying if cigarettes are harmful to us.

I urge you all to make calls, write letters, be proactive in stopping this bill. Although the bill has a charismatic title, it is very misleading, and should be called the Save Our Plastics bill.

This bill will do little to reduce the pollution flooding our oceans and streets. We need Congress to pass strong laws that effectively deal with the problem. This bill does not do that. I am calling on Sen. Warren and Sen. Markey to oppose this controversial bill on the Senate floor, and for you the readers to take action.

Grace Kenney
Vineyard Haven


  1. Grace, I know you are coming from a good place in your heart about plastic pollution. My husband and I were one of the few people who voted against Plastic Free MV – the reason? America accounts for less that 1% of ocean pollution. I know everyone says we need to start somewhere, but it seems to me the place to start is Asia. China is by far the country that pollutes our oceans more than anywhere in the world. For the islanders who are sending their kids on school trips to Europe with school, maybe the school trips should be made to China where students can interact with kids their age and talk about the repercussions of ocean pollution. That seems to be the real place to start. Imagine how little ocean trash MV accumulates if the entire US is less than 1% of the pollution.

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