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May 13, 2019

Chairwoman Johnson and Subcommittee Chairwoman Stevens’ Statement on U.S. Absence from Amending the Basel Convention

(Washington, DC) – Last week, governments of 187 countries agreed to add plastic waste to the Basel Convention, a treaty created in order to regulate the transfer of hazardous materials from one country to another in an effort to protect human health and the environment from the effects of hazardous wastes.

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology, Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI), made the following statement.

“We are disappointed but not surprised to learn that this Administration did not allow the United States to join the 187 other countries in their commitment to solve our global plastic waste problem. China’s new policy banning most imports of postconsumer recyclable materials, including plastic, has put a strain on how our nation processes its recyclables. We should see this situation as an opportunity for innovation, not falling back on asking smaller and developing countries to accept our waste—we are better than that. As Members of the Science Committee, we believe in our nation’s ability to expand and advance recyclable plastic alternatives, and to improve our recycling technologies. Plastic waste is one of our most pressing issues. The United States should be at the table with other countries to find a solution, not exclude ourselves from the conversation.”