ASBC Endorses the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act as Good for the Economy

Media Release

Washington, DC – The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) released a statement endorsing the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which was introduced today in the Congress by U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The proposed legislation would phase out unnecessary single-use plastic products, hold corporations accountable for wasteful products, reduce wasteful packaging, and reform our broken waste and recycling collection system.

“Responsible businesses, like the members of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) recognize the plastic crisis as an urgent and increasing threat to the health and well-being of people and our planet.  As such, the crisis is a real risk to our economy, while taking the necessary action will stimulate research and development leading to thousands of new entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Thomas Oppel, Senior Vice President.

ASBC recently released principles to guide systemic changes needed to reduce packaging waste in the United States. Developed by a working group of business and association leaders, the principles are designed to guide improved business practices, regulations and legislation. The 20-member working group participants included Clif Bar, Green America, Lego, Method and Seventh Generation among others.

“To meet the immense challenge of reinventing  how we design, use and dispose of packaging, we must foster broad collaboration across public and private sector actors – including governments, producers, retailers, consumers and more,” said Jeffrey Hollender, CEO of ASBC. “We believe that a systems-level overhaul is necessary, and that it must prioritize circularity and sustainability with the ultimate goal of a zero-waste economy. The first step is this set of principles that can guide the intense collaboration necessary to successfully redesign our packaging waste systems.”

ASBC members Seventh Generation, Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA) and Green America support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. 

Said the SFTA, “Sustainable Food Trade Association is excited to support ASBC in their packaging efforts this year. The natural products industry has a huge role in the proliferation of plastic; and SFTA members are taking the lead by promoting market driven solutions through collective industry demand. The organization is developing a portfolio of robust resources, including a buyer’s guide, packaging directory, and launching a Retailer Packaging Challenge, in order to better support sustainable innovation. The catalyst for change lies in collaboration; we need to come together to create innovative, sustainable packaging solutions and support policy reform that supports shifts in the packaging value chain.”

“Plastic pollution is a massive issue for our climate, waterways, and the communities most impacted by plastic production and disposal. Problems of this magnitude need to be met with bold, strategic solutions like the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act,” said Beth Porter, Green America’s Climate Campaigns Director. “This legislation not only works to stop plastic pollution at its source, but it will restrict toxic air and water pollutants and boost investments in our domestic recycling and composting infrastructure.”

The full details for each of the four principles with accompanying rationale may be found here: https://www.asbcouncil.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/packaging_wg_principles_-_final_101619.pdf

Business leaders interested in learning more and supporting efforts to reduce packaging waste may find information here: https://www.asbcouncil.org/policies-reduce-packaging-waste.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is the leading business organization serving the public policy interests of responsible companies, their customers and other stakeholders. Founded in 2009, ASBC’s membership represents over 250,000 businesses in a wide range of industries. ASBC advocates for policy change and informs business owners, policymakers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, broadly prosperous, sustainable economy.