Pass the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act
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We’re concerned that single-use plastics are wreaking havoc on our neighborhoods and natural environments. The only solution is to shift away from single-use and move toward a thriving culture of reuse!
California representatives introduced Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080 in 2019 to drastically reduce single-use product and packaging waste for generations to come. These bills, known as the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, come as widespread concerns are being raised about single-use plastic pollution and its impact on water quality, our food supply, marine ecosystem health, and our carbon footprint.
Sign this petition urging the California Senate and Assembly to fast-track the approval of the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act in 2020. The bills set the framework for a 75% reduction of all single-use plastic packaging and products sold in California by 2032, with the rest being effectively recyclable or compostable.
An unchecked plastic waste stream is a global threat.
We are now finding microplastics everywhere they shouldn’t be: our drinking water, seafood, table salt, and even in our soil. Exposure to plastics and associated toxins has been linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, and other serious health issues.
As a trusted ocean and watershed water quality watchdog, Heal the Bay is guided by the best science, not emotion. Over the last 35 years, our nonprofit organization has seen first-hand how plastic pollution has wreaked havoc on animals and the outdoor places we all cherish.
We've hosted thousands of public beach cleanups in Los Angeles County, California with volunteers, and together we’ve removed over 4 million trash items. Nearly 70% of this waste is plastic. We’re not the only ones doing cleanups. Communities around the world are joining forces and volunteering to remove waste from the natural environment.
While beach cleanups are helping to eradicate what’s on shore, there are still 8 million tons of plastic being dumped into our oceans every year. That’s equivalent to one garbage truck-full every single minute.
Today, we produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year. That's equivalent to the weight of nearly the entire human population. And with an expected 20% increase in plastic production predicted over the next decade, the problem is only getting worse.
Cleanups can be costly and this tactic alone can’t keep up with the production of plastics. Existing recycling infrastructure can’t keep pace either. Less than 9% of plastic is recycled, and that percentage is dropping since the implementation of new policies in India and China, which severely restrict the amount of waste from the United States that can be accepted.
We need to take urgent action to stop this toxic waste stream from continuing to build up. Unlike natural materials that biodegrade, nearly every piece of plastic ever produced still exists. As these items fragment into smaller particles, known as microplastics, they concentrate toxins and become impossible to remove from the natural environment.
If we continue on our current course, scientists have estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by mass. Upstream incentives that tackle plastic packaging and distribution at the source are the only solutions left.
Heal the Bay and Plastic Pollution Coalition advocate for the urgent approval of the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act. Tell our elected officials to implement strong, comprehensive environmental policies so California can lead the United States away from single-use plastics and disposables for good.
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