Act On Plastic Campaign Advocates To Pass Legislation That Would Reduce Plastic Pollution, All-Materials Waste

Plastic Oceans International is collaborating with fellow conservation nonprofit organization, Kolossal on a campaign called, Act on Plastic. It raises awareness and support, including a petition, for California legislation that would reduce all-materials waste, particularly plastic pollution.

“Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080 would implement effective corporate incentives and requirements that prevent plastic waste, and the circular economy legislation sets an example for the US and other nations,” said Julie Andersen, Global Executive Director, Plastic Oceans International. “It’s essential for producers and manufacturers to be part of the solution to address the plastic pollution crisis at its source.”

WHO:    Two nonprofit organizations, including Plastic Oceans International, which is dedicated to solving plastic pollution, and Kolossal, an ocean exploration and conservation organization.

WHAT: Act on Plastic advocacy campaign that supports Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080, known as the California Circular Economy and Pollution Reduction Act.

It encourages Californians and others to Act on Plastic by signing a petition to support bill passage at Kolossal will submit the signed petitions to California State Senators, Assemblymembers and Governor Newsom.

The measures (SB 54/AB 1080) would establish a comprehensive framework to address the pollution and waste crisis, and set a statewide goal to ensure manufacturers reduce waste generated by single-use packaging and products by 75% by 2030. The legislation would have a great impact on plastic packing and products specifically.

SB 54/AB 1080 would require CalRecycle to develop regulations that:

  1. Require producers to design packaging to reduce unnecessary waste and be fully recyclable or compostable by 2030, and meet specified recycling rates over time.
  2. Require that priority single-use food service ware products (including plates, bowls, cups, utensils, stirrers and straws) be source reduced,* or manufactured only with recyclable or compostable material by 2030. (*Source reduction includes transitioning single-use packaging or a priority single-use product, to refillable or reusable packaging or a reusable product.)
  3. Develop incentives and policies to encourage in-state manufacturing using recycled material generated in California, per the implementation plan.

Fact sheet:

WHEN: The measures are eligible for a vote that can occur any day now.

HOW:    To Act on Plastic:

  1. Sign the petition to support passing the bills into law:
  2. Contact legislators in the State Assembly and Senate, and urge them to pass SB 54/AB 1080.
  3. Watch the “Act on Plastic” video, including:

o   Matt Mulrennan, CEO and Co-Founder, Kolossal

o   Karen Ingwersen, Volunteer Activist, Surfrider L.A.

o   Angela Sun, Journalist and “Plastic Paradise” Filmmaker

o   Lisa Boyle, Environmental Attorney and Founder, Plastic Pollution Coalition

o   Senator Ben Allen, California State Senator and SB 54 author

  1. Read Plastic Oceans’ case for legislation by Julie Andersen, Global Executive Director.

WHY:    Plastic pollution is a global problem that cannot be ignored. Research continues to uncover ominous new data proving plastic impacts health and the planet, including ecology and wildlife. 

  • More than 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year, the amount of plastic generated annually is increasing, and more than 90% of all plastic is not recycled. 
  • At least eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean annually—the equivalent of one garbage truck per minute.
  • Plastic fibers were recently found throughout the ocean water column, between five – 1,000 meters deep. The same fibers were also inside the stomachs of two species living there, including the most common crab species in California.

Existing operations and applications aren’t sustainable and only exacerbate the problem. Global health and the planet are threatened by current plastic production, usage, practices and waste management. 

  • Plastics are not designed for efficient or effective recycling, reuse or compost.
  • Single-use plastic accounts for half of all plastic produced. 
  • Packaging is the largest industry in global plastic production, generating 161 million tons. 
  • Plastic production is planned to increase by 40 percent globally in the next 10 years, without any planned improvement for currently failing plastic waste management. 
  • Since China’s National Sword Policy took effect in 2018, items awaiting recycling continue to accumulate in storage or end up in landfill. 

Without change, plastic waste will continue to worsen, intensifying environmental impact.

The‌ ‌most‌ ‌effective way to solve plastic waste is to eliminate single-use plastic ‌products‌ and plastic packaging that aren’t recyclable and compostable, and implement effective waste management. 

Source reduction is key to plastic waste prevention. It includes transitioning from single-use packaging or a priority single-use product, to refillable or reusable packaging or a reusable product.

Companies (producers and manufacturers) must be required to help solve plastic waste, because it’s the only way to affect large-scale change. Individuals actions aren’t enough, so governments and corporations must collaborate. It’s essential to pass laws that provide corporate incentives and require corporate compliance.

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