Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2021

Department 1

Public Policy


Ever since the development of plastic in the 1900s, it has become one of the most commonly used materials in the world. Its flexibility and durability allow it to be used in a wide variety of materials from clothing to packaging to toothbrushes. However, plastic’s durability has caused environmental damage as well, as plastic particles have been found in everything from waterways to human bodies. This paper explains the history and science of plastic production and examines studies on the environmental and public health impacts of plastics. It then examines various policies that have been enacted to control plastic pollution and the effectiveness of those policies. Finally, it assesses the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act and investigates why certain stakeholders support and oppose this act. Ultimately research suggests that the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act would be effective at reducing plastic pollution in the United States, and the United States Congress should pass this act in order to protect both people and the environment from plastic pollution.


Written for PP 401: Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.