Californians Against Waste is dedicated to conserving resources, preventing pollution and protecting California’s environment through the development, promotion and implementation of waste reduction and recycling policies and programs.
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Now is the time to act. Plastic bags are costing your jurisdiction and other local and state agencies millions each year in cleanup costs alone. Despite their lightweight and compact characteristics, plastic bags disproportionately impact the solid waste and recycling stream and persist in the environment even after they have broken down.
In California, 13 billion plastic bags are distributed annually, and only 3% are recycled. Plastic bag ordinances currently cover 31 percent of the state’s population.
Local governments, who are primarily responsible for the cleanup of plastic litter in clogged stormwater systems and polluted waterways, should move ahead with local bag ordinances immediately. Not sure where to start? Check out our Bag Ban Tool Kit.
With the recent Supreme Court decision that the City of Manhattan Beach does not need an environmental impact report (EIR) to enact its plastic bag ordinance, the door has been opened for other local jurisdictions to move forward with their own bans.
The problem of plastic litter is only growing. Plastic is the fastest-growing component of the waste stream, and plastic pollution like expanded polystyrene (eps) and single-use bags are among the most commonly found items during beach and coastal cleanups. Because plastic essentially never biodegrades, once littered plastic becomes a permanent environmental problem.
Our Top Priority Legislation
Summary.SB 254 will serve the dual purpose of increasing recycling and reducing illegal dumping of mattresses by requiring mattress manufacturers to establish and implement market based collection and recycling programs for used mattress.
Position and Status. CAW Supports. SB 254 passed off the Assembly Floor in the final days of the session. It also passed the concurrence vote in the Senate. The Governor signed the bill on September 27, 2013.
AB 1021 provides financial assistance in the form of sales tax exemption on equipment purchases to businesses that process or utilized recycled feedstock.
Position and Status:
CAW Supports. AB 1021 was held in Senate Appropriations and won't be acted on until 2014.
Summary Prohibits stores from distributing single use plastic bags and allows the sale of reusable, paper, and (in certain jurisdictions) compostable plastic bags.
Position and Status CAW Supports. On 5/30/13, the bill fell short of the 21 votes it needed to make it off of the Senate Floor, 18-17. Reconsideration granted. Please read a statement from Executive Director Mark Murray.
Californians Against Waste is recognized as one of the nation's leading non-profit environmental research and advocacy organizations focusing on resource conservation and pollution prevention through waste reduction and recycling. The organization's 36 year history and track record of accomplishments has demonstrated it to be principled, practical, creative and effective. Find out more about CAW.
CAW Recycling News
Mark Murray's Blog