Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in launching a new effort to combat marine debris.
The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act seeks to tackle the problem of plastic waste on a global scale by spurring innovation and finding uses for the plastic waste that already exists to keep it from entering the oceans. The legislation builds on the initial progress made by the Save Our Seas Act, which was signed into law last fall.
“Countless jobs in Maine and in coastal communities throughout our country rely on the health of the ocean. The Maine lobster, aquaculture, and tourism industries are among the many critical sectors of our economy that are dependent on Maine’s pristine waters,” said Senator Susan Collins. “To protect our ocean and the sea life that inhabits it, our bipartisan bill will help accelerate the removal of plastic waste and prevent future marine debris, protecting this vital resource for generations to come.”
Roughly eight million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste from land enters the oceans each year. Ninety percent of this plastic enters the oceans from ten rivers, eight of which are in Asia. The plastic breaks down into tiny pieces that can enter the marine food chain and harm fish and wildlife and wash ashore on even the most isolated stretches of coastline. Plastic has been found in areas as remote as the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the ocean.
The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act is also cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tom Carper (D-DE), Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).
Click HERE for a summary of how the Save Our Seas Act 2.0 will combat plastic waste.