Chapter Conservation Chair
Felix Revello (he/him)
Plastics: Bad from Start to Finish
The Sierra Club’s Zero Waste policies are not just about the obvious litter problems on our landscapes and in our waterways created by the improper disposal of plastic products. Nor are they about the well-publicized ocean garbage patches, the impacts on marine life, or the possible health effects of microplastics on humans. Sierra Club recognizes that plastics are bad for the environment and for people, from start to finish.
While there are clearly good uses for some durable products, the production of all fossil-fuel-based plastics contributes to climate change. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is key to fighting the global climate crisis. Furthermore, extracting, transporting and converting oil and natural gas into plastics exposes overburdened communities to highly toxic materials and chemical emergencies.
The plastics industry continues to place the burden of proper disposal of plastics on the end consumer. Local governments often lack the resources to collect, store and locate markets for recycling efficiently. Ubiquitous single-use plastics can clog municipal wastewater treatment systems, jam separation lines at material recovery facilities and stall landfill operations equipment.
The Sierra Club supports “Enhanced Producer Responsibility” (EPR), which makes producers responsible for the end-of-life management of their products.
Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging and Paper Products (EPR) makes producers responsible for the end-of-life management of their products
- Presentation by John Hite on EPR for Packaging and Paper Products
- Frequently Asked Questions about EPR for Packaging and Paper Product
Consumer Bag Legislation (tracked by the Retail Compliance Center of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)
- Chemical Recycling: Distraction, Not a Solution