Plastics pollute people and the planet throughout their lifecycle, from intensive extraction of raw materials to chemical leaching during their use to entangling animals in discarded plastic products. Plastic waste is especially troublesome in Alaska, where the state's extensive shoreline and coastal communities are disproportionately inundated with plastic marine debris. Current policies internationally, in the United States, and in Alaska have not done enough to prevent plastic waste from ending up on Alaska's coasts, to hold plastic producers accountable for that waste, or to provide Alaskan communities the support needed to remove the waste themselves. This Note offers several proposals to address the rising tide of plastic pollution, including a system for holding plastic producers accountable for plastic throughout its life cycle, changes to grant programs that fund marine debris cleanups, and other improvements to existing international, federal, and state plastic policies.
Coastal Marine Debris in Alaska: Problems with
Plastics, Pollution, & Policy,
39 Alaska Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol39/iss2/5