Plastic Packaging in the Chesapeake Watershed

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A recent report by the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Chesapeake Legal Alliance looked at the problem of plastics in the Bay and the responsibility of plastic packaging producers in decreasing the amount. Holding the producers accountable for its end-of-life management is an increasingly popular policy across the globe. The report states that the Chesapeake may be even more vulnerable to plastics pollution than many other watersheds as scientific studies have found that most of the plastics that enter the Chesapeake’s waterways are not flushed out into the ocean. Instead, scientists have found that approximately 94 percent that make their way into the Chesapeake watershed’s rivers and streams do not leave the watershed. Legislation supporting extended producer responsibility has been introduced in previous General Assembly sessions and is likely to be introduced again this year. The study can be found at