© 2024 Maine Public
1450 Lisbon St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Maine Public Membership Department
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401

Portland Office
323 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101

Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Chellie Pingree Pledges To Address Ocean's Plastic Pollution

Murray Carpenter
For Maine Public
Plastic debris on the shore in Searsport in December.

In her first meeting as chair of the environment subcommittee of Appropriations, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District pledged that the panel will tackle the growing problem of plastics polluting the world’s oceans.

Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the oceans. That is roughly the equivalent of five garbage bags full on every foot of coastline in the world. Pingree says its time for Congress to take action.

“The marine plastic pollution problem is global in scope. It becomes worse each year and is increasingly devastating for its consequences,” she says.


Pingree says the committee will explore ways that the federal government can help develop recycling efforts, and also to reduce the use of plastics.

“The federal government has a key role to play both domestically and internationally and most importantly we are on the wrong trajectory,” she says. “We need to move forward on the complex solution to this problem and we need to do it now.”

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.