The plastics industry is asking Congress for an investment from the government to assist with programs affected by the coronavirus. The group consisted of large companies and industry groups including Dow Chemica, Berry Global Group and the Plastics Industry Association.

The group is asking for assistance in recycling, referencing a bill introduced in the House that gives $500 million for recycling infrastructure for the next five years.

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Experts note that the group asking for the bailout, their requested amount is $1 billion, is signed by companies with a collective net profit of $210 billion. “Having multinational companies with their tin cups out asking for taxpayer dollars at this moment in time is wrong,”  Judith Enck, founder of the environmental group Beyond Plastics, told the Intercept. “We need the federal spending to go to things like more testing, contact tracing, investments in clean energy — and not to attempts to prop up the feeble plastics recycling infrastructure.”

Senator Tom Udall, who introduced the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act in the Senate in February, said in a request for a statement to the Intercept, “By asking for a billion-dollar handout, Big Plastic is trying to maintain what already is the status quo: that is, taxpayers funding and taking responsibility for the waste of plastic producers. When we surface from this pandemic, plastic pollution will still be at crisis levels­ — and matters may be even worse, as industry tries to exploit this pandemic to leverage more marketing for single-use products.”

Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar said in an emailed statement, “Single-use plastic is dangerous throughout its entire lifecycle — hurting people who live on the frontlines of refineries, next to incinerators, or in highly polluted regions that serve as the world’s dumping grounds. Nothing about these throwaway plastics is safe and clean. They hurt our communities and our environment and must be phased out as quickly as possible. Congress should be supporting workers who need help right now, not a multi-trillion dollar industry looking for a handout. Plastics, recycling, and sanitation industry workers are struggling to survive as corporations look for ways to continue producing plastic that puts them and all of us at risk. These workers deserve adequate protections, paid time off, healthcare, and income to meet their needs. It is time to support the people who need it most, not provide more corporate welfare.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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