What’s the big deal about plastic?

By Dodie Alber and Dr. Lynn Wilder, Apalachicola Riverkeeper Board members 

Apalachicola Riverkeeper volunteers find plenty of plastic on their river cleanup events.  Unfortunately, our testing has also found microplastics in the river.

The Waterkeeper Alliance webinar “Microplastic Pollution: New Research and Impacts on Communities” highlighted significant findings about the dangers of plastic pollution. Here are just a few:

  • Plastic fishing line can take up to 600 years to degrade.
  • Plastic packaging contains over 98 known hazardous chemicals.
  • Plastic releases life-harming toxins into our water, soil and air as it degrades.

What’s being done?

Among other things, Apalachicola Riverkeeper is urging the House and Senate to pass The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (Senate bill S.984, House bill H.R.2238). This federal bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA), represents the most comprehensive set of policy solutions to the plastic pollution crisis ever introduced in Congress.

This great link provides the details.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Contact your U.S. Congressperson and Senators and ask them to support The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act.  Find your representatives here.


●      91% of plastic is never recycled.

●      More than 350 million metric tons of plastic are produced each year.

●      The United States generates more plastic waste than any country in the world.

Refuse – Reduce – Reuse – Remanufacture – Repair – Recycle

Dodie Alber analyzing microplastics in a lab, by Lynn Wilder


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