Plastic Pollution, Bag Bans, Expanded Polystyrene Foam
August 22 2012

Will California Reduce Plastic Pollution?

by Bill Hickman

There are just nine days left in the California legislative session, which means just nine days left for bills to be passed before going to the Governor for final approval.  Two groundbreaking plastic pollution reduction bills are weaving through the Capitol in Sacramento and need your support to pass!  It's as simple as signing our action alerts and calling your legislators.  You'll be finished in under five minutes and can walk away with that warm fuzzy feeling of helping to make a difference in the world.

Click Here for the Plastic Foam Foodware Phaseout Action Alert

Click Here for the Plastic Checkout Bag Ban Action Alert

Surfrider is a co-sponsor of SB 568, which would phase out expanded polystyrene foam foodware at restaurants statewide.  Surfrider supports this bill because plastic foam is a common item found at our beach cleanups and it's hard to clean it all up because it breaks into small pieces over time that do not biodegrade.  The time is right for this bill as the major foam producers also make the alternatives and there are sustainable foodware manufacturers in California poised to grow with truly green jobs.  To help make the bill more digestible for some, the author (Sen. Lowenthal) has added amendments to give schools more time to comply and to give restaurants with a legitimate financial hardship an exemption.  The countdown is on so please sign and share our Action Alert and here's more info on the SB 568 Campaign Page.

Surfrider is a big supporter of AB 298, which would ban plastic checkout bags at grocery and convenience stores statewide while placing a small fee on paper bags as an incentive for people to remember their reusable bags.  Surfrider has played a big part in helping over 50 local jurisdictions pass a local bag ban and the patchwork of ordinances is becoming a burden on retailers so now is the time for a statewide bill.  Plastic bags are another common item found at beach cleanup and there's probably plastic bag litter nearby you right now.  Plastic bags do not biodegrade and can impact wildlife early in their litter cycle while over time they break into small pieces, eventually adding to the plastic soup entering the ocean.  Grocers are starting to show more support for this bill, can you help out with an email and call to your legislator?  Click Here to email and call and there's more info on the AB 298 Campaign Page.

Check out this video from our friends from Clean Water Action showing community support for SB 568...

and here's a video showing foam litter fouling Huntington Beach....