Americans Are Sick of Single-Use Plastic Pollution, Poll Finds
3 in 4 U.S. Voters Do Not Want New Plastic Production Plants
Press Release Date: February 23, 2023
Megan Jordan | email: email@example.com | tel: 202.868.4061
Today, Oceana released the results of a new poll revealing that 73% of American voters support a stop in building new plastic production facilities, in addition to widespread support for policies that limit the use of single-use plastics. Survey results further indicated national concern for plastic production impacts with 82% of voters supporting the protection of people in neighborhoods affected by pollution from nearby plastic production facilities.
According to the poll, over 8 in 10 voters are concerned about single-use plastic products and are in favor of requiring companies to reduce plastic packaging and foodware, increasing the use of reusable packaging and foodware, and holding companies accountable for plastic waste.
An overwhelming 82% of U.S. voters support reducing the federal government’s use of single-use plastic — an important finding given that the General Services Administration is currently considering ways to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic used by federal agencies. Oceana recently submitted public comments urging the GSA to phase out non-essential single-use plastic throughout federal government buildings and operations. The agency is expected to release a proposed rule on the matter this year.
“The results are in: American voters are fed up with single-use plastic. The federal government has the responsibility and the power to curb not just single-use plastic use, but its production as well. With Americans on board, as these survey results indicate, it’s clear the Biden administration must do more to reduce single-use plastic — and an important step is reducing plastic use across all federal agencies and operations,” said Christy Leavitt, Oceana plastics campaign director. “Plastic is hurting our environment, our communities, our health, and our climate. Nearly three-quarters of American voters recognize the importance of stopping plastic pollution at the source, before products are even made — and it’s time our nation’s leaders take action to do exactly that.”
Key findings among surveyed registered voters include:
- 83% are concerned about single-use plastic products.
- 82% support reducing the federal government’s use of single-use plastic.
- 73% support a pause in allowing new plastic production facilities to be built.
- 82% support protecting people in neighborhoods that are affected by pollution from nearby plastic production facilities.
- 84% support increasing the use of reusable packaging and foodware and 80% support requiring companies to reduce their single-use plastic packaging and foodware.
- 81% support shifting the cost of cleaning up plastic pollution from taxpayers to the companies that make and use plastic.
- 81% support limiting the amount of plastic waste shipped from the United States to other nations, where it often ends up polluting the environment and harming the health of local communities.
- 74% support the decision to stop selling and distributing single-use plastic in our national parks.
- Republicans and Democrats were largely in agreement on reductions in single-use plastic production, protection of communities affected by production facilities, and more.
- 83% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans support a pause in allowing new plastic production facilities to be built.
- 88% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans support protecting people in neighborhoods that are affected by pollution from nearby plastic production facilities.
- 85% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans support reducing the federal government’s use of single-use plastic.
The national online poll, conducted by the nonpartisan polling company Ipsos, surveyed 1,000 American adults from across the United States between December 12 and 19, 2022.
Scientists estimate that 33 billion pounds of plastic wash into the ocean every year. That equates to about two garbage trucks’ worth of plastic entering the ocean every minute. Plastic has entered our soil, water, air, and food, and it’s a significant contributor to climate change. Recycling has never been a viable solution. Less than 6% of plastic in the U.S. is recycled, yet the plastics industry continues to tout recycling as a panacea while pushing new plastic products onto the market. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increasing amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences. Oceana campaigns to stop plastic pollution at the source — by working to pass local, state, and national policies that reduce the production and use of unnecessary single-use plastic and move toward refill and reuse systems.
To learn more about Oceana’s campaign to stop plastic pollution, please visit usa.oceana.org/plastics.