California Lawmakers Fail to Pass First-of-its-Kind Bill to Reduce Single-Use Plastic
AB 1080 and SB 54 Die in Legislature for Second Consecutive Year
Press Release Date: September 1, 2020
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
The state bill — authored by Sen. Ben Allen and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez — would have made history by reducing the production and use of a wide range of single-use plastic packaging and foodware, including plates, bowls, cups, stirrers and straws. Unlike other single-use plastic policies passed by local and state governments across the United States, AB 1080 and SB 54 would have taken a more comprehensive approach by requiring producers to reduce waste from single-use plastic packaging and foodware by 75% by 2032 through source reduction, recycling and composting.
Oceana’s plastics campaign director, Christy Leavitt, released this statement following the decision:
“With marine plastic pollution projected to triple by 2040, the need for comprehensive single-use plastic regulation has never been more urgent. As the fifth-largest economy in the world, California could have dramatically curbed the amount of single-use plastic entering the ocean and polluting the planet by passing this bill. AB 1080 and SB 54 presented an opportunity for California to lead the country in single-use plastics reform and provide a blueprint for other states to stop plastic pollution at the source. California lawmakers delivered disappointment instead of plastics reform with the failure to pass this legislation, but this missed opportunity won’t dampen the movement. The country has woken up to the destructive impacts of unnecessary single-use plastic, and it will continue to demand more of policy-makers to counter this crisis. Here’s hoping our leaders heed the call before it’s too late.”
Our oceans suffer from a daily onslaught of plastic pollution that harms marine life of all kinds, from zooplankton and sea turtles to whales and dolphins. An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment every year — roughly the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute. It’s been found in every corner of the world and has turned up in our drinking water, beer, salt, honey and more. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increasing amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences.
For more information about Oceana’s campaign to end the plastics problem, please visit www.oceana.org/plastics.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.usa.oceana.org to learn more.