The Problem

The United States generated approximately 31 million tons of plastic waste in 2010, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Much of that plastic makes its way to our oceans, polluting beaches, harming marine life and threatening entire food webs.


What We Do

Oceana campaigns for policies at the national, state, and local level to reduce ocean plastic pollution at its source.

Right now, we are working in 20 strategic cities and counties in coastal states to pass local ordinance liming single-use plastics, and we are campaigning for state-wide policies in California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Maryland, and Virginia. At the national level, we helped to introduce in Congress the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, first-of-its-kind legislation to address the plastic crisis by significantly reducing unnecessary single-use plastics and holding companies accountable for their pollution.

The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act would:

  • Phase out certain single-use plastics — including plastic carryout bags, plastic utensils and foodware made from polystyrene — nationwide that pollute our seas
  • Shift the burden of plastic waste from us, the consumers, to the companies producing it
  • Put in place a nationwide beverage container refund program

You can help protect our vibrant oceans and marine life from plastic pollution with Oceana right now.

Tell the U.S. Congress to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act now to protect our oceans and marine life.