"This is a really smart and important step forward," says Jess Conard of East Palestine. She's part of a national initiative called Beyond Plastics.
It's working to proactively end plastic pollution in the US.

She talked to 21 News about the EPA's pledge to examine the potential for cancer-causing agents in vinyl chloride - a main ingredient in many plastic products we buy and use every day.

"Plastic was never made to be recycled, so starting this process to ban a prominent chemical that makes plastic is a huge win," Conard said. And it's a process she believes is more than doable.

"The alternatives to vinyl chloride have always existed. You have copper for piping, wood or other products for flooring, PVC is found in shower curtains where we have lots of cloth-like alternatives."

Conard calls vinyl chloride a cheap product peddled by big corporations, forcing consumers to live with it.
She and her fellow advocates in beyond plastics will continue to lobby Congress for things like hemp and other more sustainable materials to fill rail cars.

"Had that train been carrying more sustainable materials like paper or wood or hemp, we would not be in the situation that we're in," she said. 

You can read more about Beyond Plastics and its mission by CLICKING HERE.