American Chemistry Council hosts gathering to discuss plastics, marine litter

To confront the issue of marine litter, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) recently sponsored a two-day “multi-stakeholder dialogue” in Newport, Rhode Island, where industry, government and environmental group representatives gathered to review and share perspectives.

Steve Russell, vice president of the ACC’s plastics division, issued a statement on behalf of the council, which represents U.S. plastics manufacturers, prior to the event.

“We look forward to holding this Marine Debris Dialogue and to hearing from a range of different perspectives on understanding and solving the complex problem of ocean trash,” Russell said in a release. “We are honored to have leading experts from government, environmental NGOs, and private sector innovators offering to share, listen and learn from each other.”

"Plastics makers fully agree that plastics don’t belong in our oceans, and solving marine litter demands our passion, our commitment, our best minds, and most of all, our cooperation," he said in the release.

Russell welcomed speakers and participants from the environmental community, identifying Algalita Marine Research and Education, As You Sow, Keep America Beautiful, Ocean Conservancy, The 5 Gyres Institute, Upstream, World Animal Protection, World Wildlife Federation, Clean Water Access and The Story of Stuff, among others in attendance.

Russell underscored ACC’s commitment to finding solutions for marine litter. In 2011, ACC co-founded a global initiative to protect the oceans called the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter. Thus far 70, plastics industry stakeholders from 35 nations have joined the group in an effort to reduce plastic waste in our oceans.

“We know there’s much more to be done, and our efforts to improve materials management in the U.S. and around the world will continue,” Russell said in the release.

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