Stopping Plastic Where It Starts-Break Free From Plastics U.S.Grassroots Tour

The extreme practice of fracking deep shale fields has made the U.S. one of the world’s largest producers of natural gas liquids used to make plastics. Today, U.S. oil and gas production is spurring plastics manufacturing and the construction of huge ethane crackers and associated pipelines in rural Pennsylvania, the Ohio River Valley, and Gulf Coast. 

Plastics production causes water, air, and climate pollution and makes nearby residents sick. Regulations and enforcement to protect residents from associated air pollution are weak. Further downstream, and around the world, plastic litters the land, pollutes miles of beaches, endangers ocean life, and contaminates drinking water.

Earthworks aims to stop plastic where it starts. With support from the Plastic Solutions Fund, we will link oil and gas campaigns with the problems of plastics. In Spring 2018, we will host a three-week global exchange tour. For the first time, residents living with the impacts of oil and gas development and petrochemical manufacturing will meet face-to-face with Asian activists working to bring the waste management of plastics under control.

The Break Free from Plastics US Grassroots Tour will include site visits and community meetings in the Rio Grande Valley and Houston, Texas, Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, and Pennsylvania. As a start, this tour will provide U.S. activists and global plastics campaigners with the relationships, stories, evidence, and analysis to grow campaigns against fossil fuel plastics. Together, we will stand against a flood of new plastics coming from the U.S. shale boom.