Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Local Solutions to Local Pollution

Plastic pollution has quickly become a global environmental and public health threat, being met with growing public concern here in Pennsylvania, across the U.S. and around the planet. 

All told, Americans generate over 35 million tons of plastic waste every year, 90% of which is landfilled or incinerated. In fact, the US throws out enough plastic every 16 hours to fill the Dallas Cowboys stadium, and that amount is increasing.

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center releases new survey results of PA local officials' plastic pollution concerns

PHILADELPHIA -- PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center was joined by local elected officials, including the mayors of Doylestown and West Chester, Wednesday to release a new report, Local Solutions to Local Pollution. The study, which surveyed Pennsylvania local officials about single-use plastic pollution concerns, offers policy solutions for tackling the problem.

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

New study shows successful policies for reducing single-use plastic waste by holding producers responsible

[Philadelphia] -- The PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center released a new report today highlighting the promising new policy trend known as producer responsibility, which works to keep product-makers--not individuals and taxpayers--responsible for the waste their products create. 

Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Break The Waste Cycle

The U.S. throws out enough plastic every 16 hours to fill the Cowboys football stadium, and that amount is increasing. Our society continually produces goods designed to be used once or temporarily and then thrown away. Most discarded materials are then landfilled or incinerated, creating pollution and requiring producers to extract more natural resources to make new materials.

This waste is by design. Producers have the ability to make products that are more durable and more easily fixed when they break, as well as packaging that is less wasteful and more readily reused or recycled. They simply choose not to. The reason is clear: As long as individuals, governments, our environment and future generations – not producers – bear the costs of our throwaway society, those who design and make the products we buy have no incentive to change.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: PennEnvironment condemns legislation that promotes burning plastics & calls it ‘recycling’

PHILADELPHIA-- PennEnvironment called on Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday to veto a newly passed bill that would redefine the term ‘recycling’ in a way that benefits the fossil fuel industry and threatens the health of Pennsylvanians and our environment.  Earlier in the day, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed House Bill 1808, which would promote burning plastics and turning them into crude oil and jet fuels under the guise of "recycling.” HB 1808 would also weaken pollution control standards for facilities where plastic-to-fuel processes take place, while incentivizing the production of more single-use plastic.

News Release | PennEnvironment

NEW REPORT: Plastic “Chemical Recycling” Means More Pollution for Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA— Amid a growing recognition of the crisis of plastic pollution, industry has touted a process marketed as “chemical” or "advanced" recycling—which claims to break plastic down into its component molecules to be made into new plastic—as a solution to the plastic crisis. 

News Release

Are Erie beaches safe for swimming?

Erie, PA – With summer in full swing, water pollution can close Erie County beaches and put swimmers' health at risk. Last year, bacteria levels at Pennsylvania beaches indicated that water was potentially unsafe for swimming there on least one day, according to the new report Safe for Swimming? by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. The report comes as Congress is set to vote tomorrow on a major spending bill that includes an additional $11 billion for water infrastructure.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: House approves $22.5 billion to replace lead pipes

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $22.5 billion over five years to replace lead service lines, which are the single worst source of lead contamination in drinking water. The funding measure, one of the few amendments to the House infrastructure package (H.R. 2) that received a standalone vote, passed 240-181 with bipartisan support.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: PennEnvironment disappointed with Pennsylvania General Assembly’s reports on single-use plastic

HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania General Assembly released two reports Friday on single-use plastic. The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO)'s report on the economic impacts of single-use plastics and the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee (LBFC)’s report on the non-economic impacts on bans/fees were both required by a law that set a one-year ban on local regulations on single-use plastics.

News Release

PennEnvironment Statement: Response to Philadelphia’s Earth Day announcement to delay plastic bag ban law

PHILADELPHIA – As Philadelphia and the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (April 22nd) and looked for proactive policies to protect the environment, the city surprised PennEnvironment, elected officials and others by announcing a 10-month delay of the implementation of the city’s single-use plastic bag ban legislation that passed City Council in December 2019.  

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