Limit Plastic Pollution in Coastal Environments

Target: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Goal: To set limits and regulations on the amounts of plastic allowed in ocean waters and beaches

In a British Biological Sciences study done in 2009, it was found that between 50 and 80 percent of litter on beaches and marine debris is made of plastic materials. The Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to initiate a limit and rules on plastics, in order to address this pollution crisis. Under the Clean Water Act, these rules would help to establish national water-quality criteria which would ideally limit plastic visible on ocean waters to zero. Strict limits would also apply to beaches in the hopes to reduce the amount of litter on the coastlines.

Another request the Center has put forward is for the EPA to publish information in order to prevent further pollution in waters, as a guide for states to be able to monitor those levels. The Clean Water Act calls for states to adopt the EPA-recommended water-quality standards. Although plastic may be helpful and efficient in today’s society, it is nothing but an inconvenience and a death sentence to marine species.

Our beaches are littered with items like grocery bags, drink bottles, wrappers, and countless other pieces of trash that pile up over time. In the Los Angeles area alone, the study found that about 20 tons of plastic items are washed into the Pacific Ocean every day. It is time to step in and stop this problem and clean up our waters and coastlines.

To almost 300 marine species, plastic presents a fatal danger. If it is ingested by animals such as seabirds, seals, fish, and turtles, they are susceptible to death due to a blockage of the esophagus that can hinder their breathing. Animals may also get trapped and tangled up in large plastic pieces. It is time to step in and prevent this crisis from continuing to harm any more animals. Sign this petition now to ask the EPA to set limits for plastic in our oceans, and support the Center for Biological Diversity in its fight.


Dear Environmental Protection Agency,

I would like to let you know that I support the Center for Biological Diversity and its call to set limits for plastic pollution in our ocean waters and on our beaches. It is a shame to see our environment polluted with trash, and it is even worse when it puts almost 300 marine species in danger.

It is well known that plastic poses a huge threat to marine birds, fish, and mammals alike, who can become trapped and entangled in the debris. If ingested, plastic items can prove fatal as they block the esophagus and airway of animals. If states were forced to adopt new water-quality standards under the Clean Water Act, hopefully, the amount of trash gathering in our coastal environments will decrease.

Please consider initiating new regulations for plastic items, as it can only greatly benefit our nation’s natural habitats. It is time to step in and attempt to end this crisis before it gets any further out of hand.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Andy Waddington

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71 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
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