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Californians Against Waste Tuesday September 30, 2014

Hot Issues

Plastic Bag Ban, Sb 270

Governor Brown Signs Nation’s First Statewide Plastic Bag Ban!

This morning, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 270 into law, making California the first state to pass a law against single-use plastic bags. 

“This bill is a step in the right direction – it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” said Governor Brown in a released statement. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”

Read more in our press release

What others are saying about the bag bill:

Governor Jerry Brown's press release 

Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird's press release

Joint press release from SB 270 authors, Senator Padilla, Senator de Leon, and Senator Lara

Assemblymember Marc Levine's press release

Latino Coalition for a California Bag Ban press release

Environment CA press release

Get the Facts: Everything You Need to Know about Plastic Bags & the Bag Ban.







icon_caw_top_priority Our Top Priority Legislation

AB 1826 (Chesbro) - Organics Recycling

Summary. AB 1826 will drive the recycling of yard trimming and food scraps by requiring commercial generators to subscribe to composting or anaerobic digestion service for their organic waste. 

Position and Status. AB 1826 is sponsored by CAW. It has passed the legislature and been signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Update: Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1826 into law!


Returning organic materials to soils drastically reduces the environmental impacts of landfills, reduces greenhouse gases, creates jobs, and helps sustain California's agricultural industry. Despite California's robust recycling infrastructure for traditional recyclables, the state continues to landfill organic materials, such as yard trimmings and food scraps, at an alarming rate. In fact, food is the most prevalent item in our waste stream and a third of the material going to landfills is readily compostable. It doesn't have to be this way. With strong policy leadership and a shift away from laws that incentivize the landfilling of this valuable material, California can become a leader in the recycling of organics.

AB 1826 would require businesses that generate a lot of food scraps or yard debris to sign up for recycling of this material.

Take Action and ask Governor Brown to sign this bill into law.

CAW Staff Contacts.

AB 1594 (Williams) Compostable Organics Management

Summary. AB 1594 (Williams) will eliminate a loophole in state law that allows some yard trimmings and prunings that are used as landfill cover to count as being “diverted” from landfills. This state law virtually subsidizes the landfilling of this valuable material and is a major disincentive for recycling organics.

Position and Status. AB 1594 is sponsored by CAW. It has passed the legislature and been signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Update: Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1594 into law!


Landfill operators are required to cover the active face of the landfill at the end of every day to prevent odors and risks to public health. The traditional material used for this purpose is soil. The next day, more garbage is placed on the soil and so it goes.

Operators have found that other materials such as processed green waste, auto shredder fluff, and tarps can also be used for this same purpose. These alternative cover materials are called Alternative Daily Cover (ADC).

Under AB 939, the state's waste reduction and recycling law the use of alternative daily cover is counted as recycling, and the materials are not considered "landfilled."


Californians Against Waste has no objection to the use of secondary materials, including green waste, for use as ADC or for other beneficial uses when other onsite materials are unavailable. We do remain strongly opposed to the concept of providing diversion credit for green waste that is used as ADC or for other beneficial uses at landfills.

SB 270 (Padilla, de León, and Lara) Single Use Grocery Bags

Summary Phases out single-use plastic grocery bags. Reusable, paper, and (in certain jurisdictions) compostable plastic bags can only be distributed with a minimum 10 cent charge. Includes standards and incentives for plastic bag manufacturers to transition to making reusable bags.

Position and Status

Update: Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 270 into law!  


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 37 year history and track record of accomplishments has demonstrated it to be principled, practical, creative and effective. Find out more about CAW.