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Sen. Whitehouse, local leaders call for end to plastic pollution for Earth Day

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MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and leadership from the RI Department of Environmental Management, Clean Ocean Access, and Clean Water Action will come together Monday morning to call to end plastic pollution. 

This year’s Earth Day theme is “End Plastic Pollution.” It can take hundreds of years to break down certain plastics, including those used in water bottle production like PET. 

Just last week scientists in the United Kingdom announced they may have found an enzyme that could aid in breaking down plastics at a faster rate. 

University of Portsmouth Biology Professor John McGeehan explained: “what we’re hoping to do is just in the same way you use an enzyme in a biological washing detergent breaking down grass stains, these enzymes we hope can breakdown PET, ideally in a matter of hours. That’s our goal.”

In order to address plastic pollution in the oceans and along shorelines, Senator Whitehouse has also passed a bipartisan bill to clean up marine debris called the Save Our Seas Act in the Senate last summer. 

A joint event will be held at Clean Ocean Access Monday to address plastics pollution and solutions at 10 a.m. 

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