Within the waning days of this turbulent 12 months, Congress accredited and the president signed into regulation the Save Our Seas 2.Zero Act. Known as SOS 2.0, this invoice was probably the most substantial federal laws enacted to this point to deal with the rising risk of plastic air pollution that too incessantly escapes into the world’s waterways and ocean. In a extremely polarized Congress and divided Washington, SOS 2.Zero defied conference and drew bipartisan help for addressing this environmental risk. A testomony to that help is the truth that each the Home and Senate handed SOS 2.Zero unanimously by voice vote!
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SOS 2.Zero strengthens the NOAA Marine Particles Program’s capability to have interaction within the combat in opposition to marine particles and plastic waste, particularly misplaced and deserted fishing gear (often known as ghost gear). It requires sturdy scientific research that can shut the data gaps in a wide range of areas, significantly in how prevalent microplastics and microfibers are in our consuming water and meals. It begins addressing the actual points with our recycling techniques. And it makes clear it’s the accountability of the USA to work with different nations to confront this rising risk to the well being of our ocean—an essential sign to the world that we’re able to be a productive companion on this combat.
Since first launched, we at Ocean Conservancy have been clear that SOS 2.Zero represents an essential step ahead to deal with plastic air pollution, but it surely isn’t a cure-all. Extra must be carried out—we have to prioritize phasing out pointless single-use plastics and lowering the quantity of plastic waste we generate. We additionally have to advance insurance policies that can transfer us in the direction of a extra round economic system, whereas additionally taking bolder motion to confront the unbelievable volumes of microfibers and microplastics within the atmosphere. All these plastic air pollution could also be small and sometimes missed, however they’re no much less impactful on the well being of our ocean.
Nonetheless, this shouldn’t cease us from celebrating the passage of SOS 2.0—a fantastic victory regardless of the appreciable political headwinds working in opposition to it. And a victory made doable due to the tireless advocacy of many members of our Trash Free Seas Alliance and since people such as you used your voice to let your elected officers understand it was time to behave.
Let’s benefit from the win, and let’s get able to encourage Congress to take even bolder motion in 2021!