Press Release

Udall and Lowenthal Share Blueprints of Break Free From Plastic Act with NCEL Lawmakers

August 13, 2020



NCEL Point of Contact

Taylor Anderson
Communications Director


With the assistance of NCEL, Surfrider Foundation, and PIRG, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall and California Congressman Alan Lowenthal have crafted a memo to support NCEL members’ efforts to address plastic pollution – from its source to its end-of-life. 

In February, Senator Udall and Congressman Lowenthal introduced the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which took from numerous state bills to comprehensively address single-use plastics. Their memo highlights the different provisions within the bill and ways states can adapt them to introduce legislation in their own state. The memo includes:

  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) 
  • Bottle Deposit Programs
  • Single-use Plastic Bans
  • Recycled Content Requirements
  • Preventing Waste Exports
  • Protecting Local Governments from Preemption
  • Moratorium on New Plastics Production

The memo was shared as a part of NCEL’s 2020 National Forum where Senator Tom Udall gave a welcome message to legislators. Senator Udall emphasized the important role states play in spurring innovative policy solutions. The momentum from states on beating plastic pollution led to the introduction of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.

In 2020 alone, more than 200 bills were introduced across 35 states aimed at halting plastic pollution. These included EPR, single-use plastic bans, anti-preemption bills, and much more.

States highlighted in blue considered plastic pollution legislation in the 2020 legislative session.

You can read Senator Udall’s and Representative Lowenthal’s joint press release here and the memo here

If you are interested in learning more about single-use plastics legislation or would like to pursue legislation, please reach out to NCEL’s Project Manager for Zero Waste and Circular Economy.