The mission of the Virginia Plastic Pollution Prevention Network (VPPPN) is to promote and facilitate coordination, collaboration, and communication among groups working to reduce plastic pollution throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

September 2023

Welcome to the Virginia Plastic Pollution Prevention Network (VPPPN). In this edition:

  • Next Meeting is Tuesday, September 19 at 2 pm
  • Free Three-Part Plastic Pollution Webinar Series
  • Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan Mid-Point Survey
  • New Ocean Conservancy Report: What the Foam?!
  • UN Zero Draft of Global Plastics Treaty
  • "Plastic Neutral" or Greenwashing?
  • Reduce Plastic Tip of the Month
  • International Coastal Cleanup in Virginia Sign Up
  • Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Summit

September Virginia Plastic Pollution Prevention Network Meeting

The Virginia Plastic Pollution Prevention Network will have a meeting on Zoom on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 (2:00 to 3:30 p.m.). We'll explore topics covered in the Plastic Soup: Cleaning our Waterways webinar (information below) share updates about the International Coastal Clean up. We'll have a member round robin to share updates and future events!

The meeting will be available on zoom:

Zoom Link

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?

Free Webinar Series

Register for the webinars here!

Join Clean Virginia Waterways, Environment Virginia, Clean Fairfax, and Lynnhaven River Now! for a free three-part webinar series on the plastic pollution crisis, what Virginia is doing about it and strategies for moving towards a more circular economy and litter free environment.

This three-part series will feature experts from Virginia and beyond to cover the threats of plastic pollution, eliminating dangerous single use plastics, shifting the costs and responsibility of waste to producers, and combating false solutions from the plastic and chemical industry.

The webinar series begins today with Plastic Soup: Cleaning Up our Waterways

Not only is unnecessary waste costly, but it harms wildlife, creates health risks, and pollutes our waterways and oceans. Learn all about how we can divert waste and cleanup litter in Virginia. We will discuss how we can hold producers responsible, campaign for a bottle bill and litter tax, and install cleanup mechanisms across Virginia. 

Register for the webinar here!

Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan Mid-Point Survey

Members of the VPPPN are doing amazing work to reduce plastic pollution and much of that work has supported the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan (VMDRP)

Clean Virginia Waterways and the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program thank you for your effort and continued support of the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan for 2021 to 2025. As we are at the mid-way point for the Plan, we want to hear from you! 

Please let them know what progress you have made toward each Action item in the Plan and provide any details you would like to share. 

If you are not sure about the Actions you/your organization are working on, you can look at the list of partners for each Action in the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan. It is also possible that your organization has worked on an Action, but hadn't "signed up" to work on. That is fine! The VMDRP is a flexible and dynamic document. We welcome a progress update on everything you are doing to reduce plastic pollution and marine debris. 

Has your organization created reports, photos, or other resources you would like to share? Please email them (or a link to the resources) to

We have four Surveys -- one for each Goal in the VMDRP: 

   Goal #1 -- Consumer Debris

   Goal #2 -- Derelict Fishing Gear & Aquaculture-related Debris

   Goal #3 -- Microplastics and Microfibers

   Goal #4 -- Abandoned and Derelict Vessels

Please fill out only the surveys that pertain to your work. 

UN Zero Draft of Global Plastics Treaty

The first draft of the United Nations' global plastics treaty was published on September, 4. There are still many unknowns in the treaty but it is expected to include microplastics, chemicals, design for recyclability, reuse and refill systems, post-consumer recycled content, extended producer responsibility, labeling, fishing gear, environmental Justice, and innovation in non-plastic alternatives.

Read the first draft here!

Ocean Conservancy Report: What the Foam?!

The Ocean Conservancy released a new report about expanded polystyrene, often referred to by the brand name "Styrofoam". Plastic foam pieces were the seventh most common item collected during the International Coastal Cleanup.

This report provides in depth information about how plastic foam is made, how much is produced and discarded into the environment, and looks at solutions to reduce the prevalence of plastic foam pollution.

Read the entire report here!

"Plastic Neutral" or Greenwashing?

The article explores the emerging trend of companies claiming to be "plastic-neutral" and raises concerns about potential greenwashing practices. Experts have questioned the authenticity of these claims, suggesting that many businesses may be using the term to mask their continued plastic use.

The article underscores the importance of scrutinizing such claims to ensure genuine efforts towards reducing plastic consumption and environmental impact, urging consumers and regulators to demand greater transparency and accountability.

Read the article here!

Reduce Plastic Tip of The Month

As the school year continues on, there's plenty of time to prepare plastic free lunches.

One solution is to opt for a more durable, environmentally-friendly alternative with reusable sandwich and snack bags instead of using single-use plastic baggies. Most reusable sandwich and snack bags are dishwasher and/or washing machine safe but can also be easily washed by hand. This way, you use less plastic and keep your food fresher longer!

International Coastal Cleanup in Virginia

(organized by Clean Virginia Waterways)

Sign up for the 2023 Virginia Waterways Cleanup Initiative

The International Coastal Cleanup has kicked off STATEWIDE in Virginia, and cleanup events continue through November. Now is the time to sign up to be a local cleanup coordinator for your favorite beach, marsh, stream and riverbank. Volunteers throughout Virginia turn out in large numbers each year for this event, which is organized by Clean Virginia Waterways, and is part of an international campaign organized by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Participants all over the world collect trash and other marine debris and record what they find. This information is then used to help reduce future marine debris problems. To get involved as a leader or as a volunteer, see

CVW encourages cleanup volunteers to collect data about the trash they find. This helps CVW and other organizations understand trends and create solutions to plastic pollution. YEAR-ROUND you can collect data using a paper data card or through the CleanSwell App on your phone. Read more here:

It can be QUICK and EASY to collect data -- just assign one or two volunteers to walk the cleanup area collecting data. They do not pickup litter-- just record what they are seeing. That leaves all your other volunteers free to concentrate on removing litter. 

Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Summit

The Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Summit is being held in Ocean City, Maryland on December 6th and 7th! The summit is being held at the Ocean City Convention Center.

The public is invited to join researchers, educators, policy makers, and businesses as we explore regional and collaborative solutions to reduce and prevent the sources of marine debris

Roland E. Powell Convention Center
4001 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842

December 6, 2023 and December 7, 2023


The VPPPN monthly eNewsletter wants YOUR input! 

If you would like to have your upcoming event (or publication) mentioned in the monthly VPPPN eNewsletter, write a paragraph with the following information, and email it to

Are you reading a book about plastics, environmental justice, ocean sustainability and health or another related topic? What about a podcast series relevant to plastic pollution or marine debris? We want to know so we can share that information with other VPPPN members!

FORMAT: Submissions to the VPPPN monthly eNewsletter must be sent as a Word or Pages document or as text in an e-mail. Word limit: 150. You can also send us a photo, logo, or flyer as a JPG.

CONTENT: Include the title, time, date and place of the event or program, and a phone number (with area code) or e-mail address of a contact person. State if the program is free or has a fee; has an age requirement or other restrictions; or has a registration deadline or welcomes drop-ins. Also include the name of the group sponsoring the event, and a website (if available) for more information. 
Support the Virginia Plastic Pollution Prevention Network
As our network grows, so do our expenses. Please consider a donation to support the VPPPN if you have found it to be valuable to you. We would appreciate your support of $10, $20 or more. Member organizations that donate $100 or more will have the opportunity to add their logo and website link to our website.
Donations by credit card (Master Card and VISA) can be made using the link below. All donations to support the VPPPN are managed through our partner, Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University. THANK YOU! 
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