BAN Confetti & Micro Waste in Public Lands & Parks in California
BAN Confetti & Micro Waste in Public Lands & Parks in California
Why this petition matters
Banning confetti is likely not a high priority item on your personal to-do list or getting it on your local city or county’s to-do list, but it’s a little thing that would make a big difference. When people book a party in a park or space at a camp site, they have certain rules they have to follow when filling out an online form; and there’s fines if they do not, for example, "no smoking". Adding one little line of "no confetti" and there being a monetary fine, is a simple and miniscule resource effort that would save Tax Payer money on park staff weekly clean-up efforts and save the environment, water quality and wildlife. States like Florida & Alabama area already on top of banning this stuff. Many cities in CA have already or are currently looking to ban or limit. Let's get the State of CA up to environmental par and stop wasting limited parks & rec mgt budgets on dealing with micro waste problems.
Confetti is the bane of many unnecessary problems that Park professionals have to regularly deal with:
- Terrible for the environment
- Pollutes Water
- Poisons Wildlife
- Wastes Taxpayer $: Pointless weekly time suck for park employees to clean (and impossible to completely clean)
- Ruins Park User Experience: I'm just trying to take a walk, play with my kid and enjoy local nature with my dog. Then I see the multitude of plastic confetti pieces. Sigh.
I’ve got nature spoiled because somebody wanted confetti from the dollar store to make their three-year-old’s birthday party a little more Extra Instagramable. Or maybe it's another A**Hole Influencer abusing your local, state and national parks trying to catch attention for FOR $$ PROFIT. Like someone wearing a long white lace dress to your wedding - it just ruins the preciousness of the moment of being in nature.
Seems small, NOPE hundreds of thousands of pounds of the stuff is sold every year in the US alone; the ecological damage is decades (actually about nearly 1000 years), and do you really want park personnel spending 30 minutes or an hour every Monday after a weekend of park parties having to try and clean that stuff up as best they can which means only partially at best. Our tax dollars are better spent for these wonderful people in so many other ways.
Confetti may be small, but using it can have big consequences. Traditional confetti—the kind you'll find at most stores and online—is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other plastics. According to experts, it can take 1,000 years to break down, meaning that quick burst of fun can leave an impact on the planet for a really long time.
Confetti isn't just polluting the environment—it's also harming wildlife. Animals may be attracted to the shine that comes off the plastic pieces and wind up eating it. It can also end up in rivers and oceans, putting fish and other marine life at risk. According to National Geographic, when these little pieces of plastic collect in an animal's stomach, it can cause them to die of starvation.
So every time someone is using traditional confetti at an event, they're really just throwing microplastics into the environment. Yikes.
Your Name, Address & Phone
Call or Copy and paste the above into an email to your local parks dept, mayor, city council rep, county rep, state parks dept, state environmental protection office, etc.: https://www.usa.gov/states-and-territories
Email CA State Senator Dave Cortese: "Senator.Cortese@senate.ca.gov" <Senator.Cortese@senate.ca.gov>
California Environmental Protection Agency Contact form: https://calepa.ca.gov/share-your-ideas/
National Park Service: 202-208-6843 Charles F. "Chuck" Sams III, Director
National Parks Foundation: (202) 796-2500 https://www.nationalparks.org/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Protection Agency - Contact Form: https://usepa.servicenowservices.com/ecss?id=ecss_csm_get_help_1&sys_id=d696a9f51ba9581013bdb913cc4bcbbe
Your House of Rep & Senate Member: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
News Article: Risks of Confetti in Rivers https://www.universitystar.com/archives/risks-of-confetti-in-the-san-marcos-river/article_2b7b6364-2115-56e9-ab49-a7af7f5e22b7.html
Recent Related Case Examples:
January 2023, Hutto, TX City Bans confetti & glitter
July 2022 Gainesville, FL Ban on Releasing Plastic Confetti, Glitter & Balloons Outdoors Seeks to Protect Florida Wildlife https://www.gainesvillefl.gov/ZeroWasteNews
June 22, 2021 Bocha Raton, FL to becomes 26th municipality in FL to completely ban confetti https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/news/local/boca/2021/06/22/why-you-will-see-fewer-balloons-and-confetti-in-boca-ratons-outdoor-spaces/7717085002/
Aug 2018, Mobile, AL Bans Confetti illegal to possess, make, sell, give away or throw any non-biodegradable, plastic-based confetti. https://www.al.com/news/mobile/2018/08/it_wasnt_easy_but_mobile_now_h.html
Feb 2023, New Orleans, LA City Counsel Introducing Legislation to Ban Confetti Cannons https://www.nola.com/entertainment_life/confetti-cannon-ban-likely-after-new-orleans-power-outage/article_7b997de6-abcd-11ed-a598-a375ee980fec.html
Feb 2023 Oklahoma City, OK – Councilmember working to ban confetti https://sports.yahoo.com/councilmember-calls-ban-mylar-confetti-233801774.html
July 2, 2021 Plumas, CA Using Penal Code 374.3 to impose $10,000 fines and jail time for those hiding garbage in green waste. https://www.plumasnews.com/hiding-garbage-in-green-waste-could-result-in-10000-fine/
June 2019, Santa Barbara, CA City issues public statement request to stop using confetti https://www.edhat.com/news/confetti-is-litter
September 2022 Long Beach, CA - Cal State Long Beach banned confetti during graduation commencement
November 2022 – Pacific Grove, CA Working to Single Use Plastics including Ban Confetti
February 2023 Laguna Beach, CA Bans balloons and plastics starting in 2024 to protect Coast https://www.ksn.com/news/national-world/ap-us-news/ap-california-beach-city-weighs-balloon-ban-to-protect-coast/
2022 San Jose, CA Recycles requests greener confetti use as most wedding venues have already banned confetti https://sanjoserecycles.org/guide/confetti/
Feb 2020 Ventura City, CA Banning Balloons and Environmental Destructive Plastic
April 2018 Shoreham, CT Bans Balloons to Prevent Beach and Ocean Environmental Problems https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/06/us/balloon-ban-new-shoreham-trnd/index.html
July 2022 Milan, Italy City Bans Plastic Confetti
June 2020 Venice, Italy Bans Confetti and plastics at Carnevale
January 12, 2022 - 2 Florida Women jailed and facing felony charges for attacking man and dumping apartment with glitter
US EPA Orders National Chain Stores to Recall & Stop Selling Confetti String: Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Target Corp, American Greetings
imported confetti string products contain banned hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
Weddings, Parties, Gender Revile, BDay Parties, Confetti Pictures, Confetti Cannons, Confetti Eggs, Waste Management Service Providers Consistently Warn against Confetti Napa, CA https://naparecycling.com/guide/confetti/
Contra Costa, CA https://recyclemore.com/_rcylst_dyk/many-wedding-venues-have-banned-confetti/
US Conference of Mayors – Municipal Waste Mgt Assoc - micro waste: https://www.usmayors.org/mwma/
Start Using Existing Hazardous Waste Dumping Law to Enforce Bans on Micro Waste (Confetti, Glitter, Water beads, Confetti Cannons and Similarly Micro Waste Products & Micro Waste Use on Public Lands or illegally on Private Property).
-Amendment to CA Penal Code § 374.e (2017) Illegal Dumping:
The proposed bill amendment would specifically designate some litter as “Micro Waste”. Examples being confetti, glitter, water beads and any similarly dispersible or pelletized substances that create unique, time consuming and unsuccessful cleanup problems for parks staff, private property damage, long-term environmental damage, multi-species and multi-generational wildlife harm, water pollution to bodies of water as well as municipal wastewater systems, and damage to public parks, open-spaces, and campsites wasting tax-payer dollars and government parks management funds impacting public, private and commercial areas. Micro Waste disperses from dumped area to hundreds of feet to many miles away across multiple California cities, counties, state lands, and Indian Tribal Reservations/Rancherias as well as crossing state lines.
Specifically designate Micro Waste as a public and environmental hazard according to California Penal Code Section 374.7(a) defines: “A hazardous substance is one that poses a significant present or potential risk to human health and safety or to environmental health.”
DRAFT Amendment Wording:
It is unlawful for any person to disperse, dump, or allow to escape from container Micro Waste substances in public areas, or illegally in private or commercial areas. It is unlawful to deposit any Micro Waste matter in water or on land in any area other than in appropriate storage containers. Micro Waste includes but is not limited to confetti, glitter, water beads, as well as pelletized materials like plastics, glass, metals, etc. that are less than 2 inches in size.
CA Penal Code § 374.4 (2017) - Litter Law
(a) It is unlawful to litter or cause to be littered in or upon public or private property. A person, firm, or corporation violating this section is guilty of an infraction.
(b) This section does not restrict a private owner in the use of his or her own property, unless the littering of waste matter on the property creates a public health and safety hazard, a public nuisance, or a fire hazard, as determined by a local health department, local fire department or district providing fire protection services, or the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, in which case this section applies.
(c) As used in this section, “litter” means the discarding, dropping, or scattering of small quantities of waste matter ordinarily carried on or about the person, including, but not limited to, beverage containers and closures, packaging, wrappers, wastepaper, newspapers, and magazines, in a place other than a place or container for the proper disposal thereof, and including waste matter that escapes or is allowed to escape from a container, receptacle, or package.
(d) A person, firm, or corporation convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by a mandatory fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon a first conviction, by a mandatory fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) upon a second conviction, and by a mandatory fine of not less than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) upon a third or subsequent conviction.
(e) The court may, in addition to the fine imposed upon a conviction, require as a condition of probation, in addition to any other condition of probation, that any person convicted of a violation of this section pick up litter at a time and place within the jurisdiction of the court for not less than eight hours.
(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 416, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2007.)
California Penal Code 374.3 - Illegal Dumping
Illegal dumping on public and private property punishable by a fine up to $10,000.
Also, pursuant to Section 117555 of the California Health and Safety Code, a person who dumps illegally is punishable by up to six months in jail.
Section 374.7(a) of California's Penal Code - Littering or Hazardous Materials on or near Water
States that it is unlawful for any person to litter or deposit any waste matter in water or on land in any area other than in appropriate storage containers. Section 374 also prohibits dumping of any waste matter in a body of water or upon a bank, beach, or shore within 150 feet of water. It prohibits any person from knowingly depositing hazardous substances in any California water body, in roadways, or on the property without permission of the property owner. A hazardous substance is one that poses a significant present or potential risk to human health and safety or to environmental health. If convicted of such actions, a person is subject to fines and/or imprisonment, depending on the violation. California Penal Code is enforced by the County Sheriff.