Hot Issues We're Working On

SB 270 Bag Bill
Plastic Bag Ban, Sb 270

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

On September 30, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 270 into law, making California the first state to enact 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 statement

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

Heal the Bay press release

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

FAQs - Living Without Single-Use Plastic Grocery Bags

Plastic Bag Industry Referendum: What To Do If You Spot A Paid Signature Gatherer





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 35 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

Getting Food Scraps & Yard Trimmings Out of Landfills (and Back in the Soil)

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.


Sept 4 - Mattress Bill Signed By Governor

Sept. 4, 2013              

SACRAMENTO - Environmental, business, recycling and mattress industry leaders joined Senators Loni Hancock and Lou Correa, and Assembly Member Cristina Garcia at the State Capitol today, to express support for their co-authored bill, Senate Bill 254. This measure, which must pass the Legislature in the next 8 days, would create a statewide mattress recycling incentive and collection program in California.

More than 4 million used mattresses are generated in the state annually. Due to their large size and high costs for disposal, used mattresses are too often discarded on road sides, causing blight, health threats, and added cleanup costs. Local Governments in California are currently saddled with an estimated $20 million annual cost for used mattress collection and clean up.

SB 254 will implement a producer responsibility solution operated by a non-profit stewardship organization to create incentives for increased mattress recycling and renovation. These operations will be overseen by CalRecycle and a Mattress Recycling Advisory Committee.

California's Bottle & Can Recycling Law - The Bottle Bill

California's Bottle Bill is one of the nation's most successful litter and pollution reduction programs. Since 1988, Californians have recycled more than 10 million tons of aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers. No other recycling program or policy in this state has resulted in higher recycling levels, and no program of its kind in the country has been found to be more cost effective.

While the latest CA Beverage Container Recycling Rates show continued high--82% overall—container recycling rates, the picture is less rosy for Plastic Beverage Containers.

Current ‘loopholes’ in the beverage container recycling law means more than 250 million recyclable plastic bottles remain exempt from the program. This means more than 350,000 tons of plastic containers continue to be littered and landfilled at the same time that California-based plastic processors are struggling to get a sufficient supply of recycled plastic to meet manufacturer demand. Increasing the use of recycled plastic in California manufacturing means both jobs and reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Other Issues We're Working On

Alternative Daily Cover
Apartment Recycling
California Bottle Bill
Cell Phone and Battery Recycling
Carpet Recycling
Cigarette Litter

Conversion Technologies
Dairy Waste
Enforcement Campaign
Producer Responsibility
Fast Food and Waste
Food Waste Composting
Lighting Source Pollution Reduction
Medical Sharps


Mercury Contamination

Paint Recycling

Pharmaceutical Pollution

Phone Books

Used Motor Oil Recycling
Zeroing in on Zero Waste