Minerals + Materials grantee, Beyond Plastics, was featured in the Associated Press’ recent story on the EPA’s announcement that it will prioritize five chemicals for risk evaluation, including vinyl chloride, as part of the response to the East Palestine train derailment. The organization has led the charge to get the EPA to ban vinyl chloride, submitting a petition to the agency this year. As Beyond Plastics regional director, Jess Conard, explains, “Vinyl chloride is transported by rail all over the country and is the primary chemical that has contaminated not just my home in East Palestine, Ohio, but other communities where PVC and vinyl chloride manufacturing facilities exist.’’ She continues, “If you live along the rail line, you are at risk for the same fate (as East Palestine) with every passing train that is transporting toxic chemicals.’’ In a separate letter to the editor published in the New York Times, Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics, speaks plainly and simply about the reality of plastics recycling. She writes, “Relying on plastic recycling is like trying to mop water from an overflowing bathtub while the faucet is still running. It’s time to turn off the plastic tap.”
To learn more about the East Palestine disaster and the work Beyond Plastics is doing to address the larger plastic pollution crisis, watch the video below.