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Dear fellow Kentuckians,

I am your local representative of Kentucky Heirs To Our Oceana and a representative with #breakfreefromplastic, a global movement working to build a future free from plastic pollution. Together with thousands of members from around the world, we tackle plastic pollution across the whole plastics value chain.

Given Kentucky Heirs To Our Oceans’ focus on inland waterway pollution and our interest in protecting the health of citizens and our environment, I am reaching out on behalf of the #breakfreefromplastic movement to invite you to participate in our global brand audit campaign.

To learn more and consider getting involved, we invite you to join us for the #BrandAudit2022 launch party on August 2, just in time to prepare for our upcoming creek sweep in Louisville, Kentucky!

Brand audits are a community-based citizen science initiative that involves recording data on plastic waste to help identify the companies responsible for plastic pollution. This data helps us to hold them accountable so they stop producing so much plastic in the first place.

Shifting away from plastic is not only critical for the environment, it’s also important for human health, wildlife, jobs, food systems, and more. Corporate accountability for plastic pollution impacts many intersecting issues, including the great work you are doing on keeping inland waterways and the health of citizens in Kentucky protected . That’s why it would be valuable to have your support in working together to pressure companies to stop making plastic, as this would positively impact reducing micro plastics pollution in our bodies and also reduce the risk of injuries or deaths to wildlife.

Plastic, as you know, is made from fossil fuels, and the world’s addiction to single-use plastic is a serious contributor to our major environmental crisis.

To be considered, Children under the age of 15 make up 26% of the world’s population today, but they will inherit 100% of the environmental crisis, caused in part by the world’s addiction to fossil fuel-based plastic.

Environmental Justice: The harmful impacts of plastic pollution, from raw material extraction all the way to disposal, disproportionately burdens low-income people, communities of color, and the Global South.

Agriculture: If fresh produce were sold loose instead of wrapped in toxic plastic packaging, household food waste would be reduced by 60,000 tonnes and more than 8,800 tonnes of plastic would be saved each year.

Labor: Moving away from plastic and towards zero waste systems creates more jobs than any other waste management approach - 200 times more than landfills and incinerators.

Toxics: Plastic materials include a wide range of toxic chemicals that are added to them to make them useful for specific functions, and when recycled these plastics may end up in consumer goods that could threaten people’s health.

Since 2018, thousands of BFFP members and allies all over the world have organized hundreds of brand audits, providing data that contributes to our annual global “BRANDED” reports. Through these reports our movement has been pressuring the top polluting corporations to reveal their total plastic footprint, reduce production at the source, and redesign their packaging for refill and reuse. We’ve seen some exciting impacts - such as top plastic polluter The Coca-Cola Company announcing a new voluntary goal of 25% reusable packaging by 2030 - but companies still have a long way to go.

Here is the good news: with your help, this year could change everything. 2022 isn’t just our 5th year of global brand audits; it also marks the beginning of the negotiations for the world’s first Global Plastic Treaty, a legally binding international law aimed at reducing plastic pollution worldwide, covering the full life-cycle of plastic. This is a historic step forward in the fight against plastic pollution, but there is still a long road ahead as the negotiations continue throughout the end of 2024.

That’s why we need friends in allied movements more than ever! This year presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gather data that can help support the Global Plastics Treaty. It is critical that the companies which hold a disproportionate responsibility in creating and perpetuating the plastic pollution crisis be held accountable for the plastic pollution generated from their products.

To learn more and consider getting involved, we invite you to join us for the #BrandAudit2022 launch party on August 2! We will present an overview of this year’s plans and resources, and create space for community building. If you are new to our brand audit initiative, this is a great place to start! Live interpretation will be available for French, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Hindi, and Mandarin.

Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Time: 8 am Mexico City / 9 am New York / 10 am Rio de Janeiro / 1 pm Dakar / 3 pm Brussels / 4 pm Nairobi / 6:30 pm New Delhi / 9 pm Singapore

RSVP for the #BrandAudit2022 launch party!

Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope to see you there!

Your Kentucky Heirs leadership team

(Caecilia, Freya, Lucia and Lars)

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