What We're Doing
ACC's Steve Russell on Marine Debris and Global Solutions
Below: Video of the American Chemistry Council’s Steve Russell talking with Plastics News about plastics recycling, marine debris and waste to energy technologies.
As producers of products that find their way into the marine environment, plastic makers are working with government officials, scientists, retailers, anti-litter groups and consumers to devise solutions to prevent marine debris. Over the years plastic makers and recyclers have invested billions of dollars to develop and help support a nationwide infrastructure to recycle plastics, and we continue to develop new, innovative programs to collect additional plastic products. The plastic industries of the American Chemistry Council also support a growing number of education and research programs around the country to encourage people to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
The Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership, previously called Curbside Value Partnership (CVP), is a national recycling nonprofit formed in 2003. The Recycling Partnership focuses on improving residential recycling. Curbside recycling is the easiest way for Americans to recycle yet there is still much opportunity for improvement. More than half of U.S. communities have access to recycling programs yet participation averages at less than 50 percent.
I Want To Be Recycled Campaign
Designed to motivate Americans to recycle every day, the "I Want To Be Recycled" campaign launched in 2013 as a partnership between Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council. ACC is a founding sponsor of the initiative which utilizes advertising that resonates with consumers and shows them that many everyday products, whether a plastic bottle or an aluminum can, among other products, have the potential to become something bigger when recycled.
Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. Recycle.SM
The plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council has partnered with Keep California Beautiful, the California Department of Parks and Recreation (California State Parks) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to put more recycle bins on beaches, campgrounds, and rest areas. Since the program began in 2009, we’ve installed nearly 700 recycling bins and educational signage in 19 communities along the California coast.
Operation Clean Sweep
Operation Clean Sweep is jointly managed by the Society of the Plastics Industry, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and the American Chemistry Council to prevent the release of resin pellets into the environment. The campaign's goals are to help every plastic resin handling operation implement good housekeeping and pellet containment practices and to work towards achieving zero pellet loss.
Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean
Rozalia Project’s mission is to find and remove marine debris (from the surface to the sea floor) through action, technology, outreach and research. America’s Plastics Makers are proud to provide support that helps make the Project possible. Using remotely operated vehicles equipped with sonar and a manipulator arm, Rozalia Project crew search the sea floor from aboard their 60' sailing research vessel, American Promise, locating and removing marine debris of all sizes. They employ a variety of techniques to recover and recycle or properly dispose of the ocean trash. Rozalia Project also travels the country educating people of all ages about marine debris, and demonstrating much the technology they use conducting dockside, interactive presentations and shipboard programs for community, school and environmental groups. Visit the Project on Facebook and Twitter and follow the blog.
LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Partnership
As part of the Plastics. Too Valuable To Waste. Recycle campaign, the American Chemistry Council also helps educate children about recycling plastic through a partnership with the After School Enrichment Program, LA’s BEST. Through the partnership, the ACC reaches more than 15000 kids at 91 sites in Los Angeles hosting “Go H20!” Recycling Festivals for students to test their recycling knowledge.
Aquarium of the Pacific “Our Watersheds” Exhibit
The American Chemistry Council’s Plastic Division provided financial resources and expertise to help the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, create a new exhibit, “Our Watershed: Pathway to the Pacific.” The exhibit includes a permanent marine debris education program aimed at reaching young people with the importance of recycling and proper disposal.
The hands-on exhibit brings to life the connection between human activity on land and the consequences for the oceans—in particular the link between land based litter and marine debris. Weekday mornings are reserved for school groups who learn about ways to reduce the human impact on the watershed and the oceans.
View presentation on actions by America’s plastics makers to prevent marine debris (June 2009).
Ocean Futures Society
The American Chemistry Council supports the Ocean Futures Society and their work with Project Kaisei. Through a donation to Ocean Futures, plastic makers supported the work of researchers during Project Kaisei’s August 2009 voyage to the pacific gyre.
Sea Education Association (SEA)
Plastic Makers partner with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to support the first federally funded research expedition to the North Atlantic gyre. Our support helps provide educational outreach for the research voyage.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
In 2006 the plastic industries of the American Chemistry Council partnered with the NFWF to study microscopic debris in plankton samples. The Plankton & Plastic Surveys of U.S. Ocean Waters sampled zooplankton from the Southeast Bering Sea and California Current waters off the U.S. West Coast to observe how plastic interacts with marine life.