WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee and co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus, today released the following statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed draft “National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution.”

“The unfortunate truth is that plastic pollution threatens wildlife, overwhelms landfills, and pollutes our land and oceans. Investing in robust recycling infrastructure helps reduce pollution and waste in our communities, while also supporting economic opportunity and job creation—a win-win,” said Senator Carper. “As co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus, I applaud EPA for putting together a comprehensive national strategy to address plastic waste. In addition, I encourage industries across the plastic supply chain to work with EPA, as well as state and local governments, to make the agency’s goal of eliminating plastic pollution by 2040 a reality.”

The draft strategy is an important step in EPA’s efforts to implement the National Recycling Strategy and create a more circular economy. The “National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution” includes ambitious actions to eliminate plastic and other waste from land-based sources by 2040. To achieve this goal, the proposal focuses on reducing the production of single-use and unrecyclable plastics, improving post-use materials management, and preventing trash and microplastics from entering our waterways.


Earlier this week, Carper led Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) in reintroducing bipartisan legislation focused on improving our nation’s recycling and composting systems.

The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act would improve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to gather data on our nation’s recycling systems and explore opportunities for implementing a national composting strategy. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2023 would allow EPA to create a pilot program to improve recycling services in underserved areas. Last Congress, Carper, Capito and Boozman led the Senate to pass both bills by unanimous consent.

Click here for more information on the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act and the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act.