Are you a Californian Against Waste?

Californians Against Waste Thursday July 24, 2014

Hot Issues

Campaign to End Single-Use Plastic Bags

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.

FAQ - Living Without Plastic Grocery Bags

See the results of CAW's Litter-Themed Haiku Contest


Take Action

Take Action On Single-Use Plastic Bag and Polystyrene Ordinances

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.

The solution is clear: highly-littered plastic items like plastic bags and polystyrene food packaging need to be banned. Californians should reduce their use of disposable packaging. Find out more about our Campaign to End Single Use Plastic Bags and other plastic litter.


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.

CAW is sponsoring AB 1826. The bill passed the Assembly Floor with 54 votes and now heads to the Senate.

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.

CAW is co-sponsoring AB 1594 with the California Compost Coalition. The bill has passed the Assembly and now heads to the Senate.

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 CAW Supports. The bill was heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on May 14 and passed. It was placed on the Suspense File in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after a June 18 presentation, and no further action will occur until the Suspense hearing in mid August.


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.