Governor Brown signed two bills recently to address the microplastic problem in California. Both authored by Senator Portantino, the two bills will help California law-makers, agencies, and citizens get a handle on how much microplastic is in our waters and how we can start addressing and eliminating it. SB 1422 (California Safe Drinking Water Act: microplastics) would require the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt regulations requiring annual testing for, and reporting of, the amount of plastics in drinking water, including public disclosure of those amounts. The second, SB 1263 (Ocean Protection Council: Statewide Microplastics Strategy) would direct the state's Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to develop, adopt, and implement a Statewide Microplastics Strategy in order to develop greater understanding of the risks of microplastics in the marine environment and to seek solutions for the growing problem.
Microplastics are a growing problem. From microbeads to microfibers, these tiny plastic pieces have been found along coastlines, and in the stomachs of fish, in sea salt, honey, even beer. Researchers are only beginning to study and discover what risks ingesting these tiny plastics poses to the human body, but we can be sure it's not good! And a great first step is by looking at our drinking water and other sources and developing a strategy to stop it at its source.