U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today introduced the MICRO Plastics Act to combat ocean plastic pollution. This legislation directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to test new, innovative ways to remove microplastics and prevent them from entering our waterways. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, one-third of all plastic waste ends up in nature, accounting for 100 million tons of plastic waste.
“It’s scary to think about how much plastic is polluting our environment. Ocean plastics are destroying ecosystems, killing marine life and littering our beaches,” Rep. Mast said. “It’s only going to get worse until we do something about it, so this legislation is about getting serious with innovative ways to remove these harmful plastics from our environment. The health of our waterways depends on it.”
Specifically, this legislation would require the EPA to establish a pilot program that would test the effectiveness and cost of existing tools used to mitigate microplastics in our waterways. The bill also directs the EPA to test a variety of possible solutions to accomplish this goal, including natural infrastructure, green infrastructure, mechanical removal, filtration and more.
Rep. Mast was joined by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) in introducing this legislation in the House of Representatives. Senators Lindsay Graham (SC), Susan Collins (ME) and Jeff Merkley (OR) also introduced companion legislation in the Senate this week.
The legislation can be found HERE.