September 8th, 2023

Weight 1

AG Nessel recently joined a coalition of 14 other attorneys general to write a joint letter to the Environmental Protection Agency calling for a federal strategy to address the plastic pollution crisis. The letter calls for a proactive solution to the ongoing issue of the lifecycle of plastic and the harms it causes at each stage. 

The letter details that plastic production plants produce air and water pollution. Many of these plants are located in low-income and communities of color, making the plastic crisis an environmental justice issue. Throughout their lifecycle, plastics are used and discarded into landfills or the natural environment. Plastics break down over time, into smaller particles called microplastics which have found their way into waterways and aquatic species including fish and other animals. This is an especially important issue in the Great Lakes state where we are surrounded by 20% of the world’s surface freshwater (EGLE). 

Plastic pollution solutions must go beyond  recycling and reuse efforts; we must reduce how much is produced and consumed. AG Nessel, alongside the 14 other attorneys general, calls for a reduction in plastic production and use, and their letter asks the EPA to promote the reuse of existing plastic as opposed to creating new plastics.  It also encourages the study of plastic use within the fashion industry for textile materials like polyester, and calls for the establishment of more detailed criteria for plastic recycling processes that protect the environment and human health.