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Half of All Produce in America Is Wasted According to New Report

Half of All Produce in America Is Wasted According to New Report


American food waste issue is dire; as much as half of fresh produce grown in this country is wasted, according to a new study

We need to shape up, America.

As the epidemic of food waste in America reaches dire levels, our concern for food sustainability and recycling has grown steadily.

A new study by British publication The Guardian estimated that around half of all fruits and vegetables grown in America are wasted. This number comes from several agricultural experts who claim that between consumers throwing away more than just scraps, and a wholesale obsession with selling only aesthetically perfect produce, around 50 percent of fruits and vegetables end up in a landfill or as feed for cattle.

“It’s all about blemish-free produce,” Jay Johnson, who ships fresh fruit and vegetables from North Carolina and central Florida, told The Guardian. “What happens in our business today is that it is either perfect, or it gets rejected. It is perfect to them, or they turn it down. And then you are stuck.”

That lost food can total about $1,600 of wasted income for a family of four each year.

But despite alarming numbers associated with food waste, there has been a pushback movement: Supermarkets are offering incentives to buy “ugly fruit” – produce that’s bruised or misshapen. There has also been an increase in popularity of zero-waste restaurants and pop-up dinners from chefs like Marcus Samuelsson who are committed to a brighter and greener future.


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”


U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds

The plastic pollution crisis has been widely blamed on a handful of Asian countries, but new research shows just how much the U.S. contributes.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.

“The United States has some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans in the world, and the coastlines are incredible,” President Trump says in enlarged type on the plan’s first page. “As president, I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills.”

The trouble with that framing, scientists say, is it distorts the complexities of a global problem and contributes to a sense of complacency in the United States that marine litter is Asia’s problem. Now, new research, published Friday in Science Advances, reexamines the U.S.’s role as a plastic consumer and concludes that the country has much more work to do at home to manage its waste.

China may be the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic, the report finds, but the United States is by far the world’s largest generator of plastic waste—it produced about 42 million metric tons of the stuff (46 million U.S. tons) in 2016. The U.S. also ranks as high as third among coastal nations for contributing litter, illegally dumped trash and other mismanaged waste to its shorelines.

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of American plastic waste is recycled, and the U.S. has a 30-year history of shipping half of its recyclable plastic overseas, primarily to China and other developing nations lacking the infrastructure to manage it. That practice was drastically reduced only when China stopped buying plastic scrap in 2018 as part of a green campaign to clean up its own environment.

The study’s authors say they conducted it, in part, because the “finger-pointing” has not helped draw the world together to work on a global solution.

“Let’s face it, we have a large coastal population [in the U.S.]. We are massive consumers and that has consequences, and we have to get out of this silliness that all we have to do is stop Asians from dumping in the ocean and we’d be all set,” says Ted Siegler, an economist and partner at DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, Vermont, and a co-author of the study.

The new research is not the only analysis of the United States’s handling of plastic waste. The National Academies of Sciences held its first public meeting this week for an 18-month assessment of the United States’ contribution to plastic waste that was commissioned by Congress and is due at the end of 2021. That research is included in legislation that funds the marine debris program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will oversee the project. In convening the meeting, Amy Uhrin, chief scientist of NOAA’s marine debris program, reminded her audience, “It’s not strictly a Southeast Asia problem.”