Senate Tackles Motor Oil Myth

Legislation promotes honest business practices and protects the environment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

CONTACT: Teresa Bui (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO – The 3,000-mile oil change may be a thing of the past. Today, the California State Senate passed SB 778, authored by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), a bill that would require that motor oil change shops follow the oil change interval specified in the customer vehicle owner’s manual when recommending the date or mileage for the next oil change, rather than the decades old 3,000 mile rule-of-thumb. The bill will also require oil change shops to reflect the manufacturer’s recommendations in a window sticker or other means.

     Oil technology has changed enormously over the last 30 years making the 3,000-mile oil change unnecessary in nearly all vehicles. The majority of automakers today call for oil changes at either 7,500 or 10,000 miles, and the interval can go as high as 15,000 miles in some cars.  And yet, a 2012 survey by CalRecycle indicated that almost 10 million Californians change their motor oil every 3,000 miles or less.

    In response to this survey, CalRecycle launched a consumer information campaign called “Check Your Number” that encouraged drivers to rethink their current driving habits and only change the motor oil as needed. Despite the improvements in technology, many maintenance facilities, including those specializing in oil changes, continue to promote the old standards, perpetuating the 3,000-mile oil change rule. As a result, millions of consumers spend one to three times more money than they need to on costly oil changes.

    The unnecessary oil changes result in large disposals of used motor oil that inevitably end up damaging our environment. Used motor oil, which is insoluble and contains heavy metals and toxic chemicals, is often improperly disposed of and enters our oceans and freshwater sources through the storm water system and endangers residents, pets, wildlife, and fish. Also, one gallon of used motor oil can foul the taste of 1 million gallons of water.  This hazardous waste is also often burned as fuel, creating dangerous air pollution. While California has a motor oil collection and recycling program, reducing the amount of oil used makes the best environmental and economic sense.

    “Reducing waste is a key California strategy to fight climate change and reduce environmental clean-up costs,” said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste, the sponsor of SB 778. “A comprehensive plan to save our environment and reduce the effects and financial costs of climate change involves more than just recycling. It involves waste reduction too. This bill is a win for the environment and a win for consumers.”

   SB 778 has the support of consumer groups, environmental groups, and the automaker Honda and will now move to the Assembly.

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Oct 11 - California Creates Sales Tax Exemption for Recycling Equipment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             

CONTACT: Nick Lapis (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO – California is implementing some of most ambitious recycling and composting policies in the country, and today Governor Jerry Brown approved a sales tax exemption on equipment that businesses can use to help the state reach its green goals.

“With the proper tools, Californians can show the world how an economy can become more efficient and sustainable and reinvest in its manufacturing base,” said AB 199 author Assembly Member Susan Eggman (D-Stockton). “Instead of landfilling or exporting these valuable used materials, we can create finished products, creating revenues and quality jobs in the process.”

“Californians are leaders when it comes to recycling, and Assembly Member Eggman’s legislation will help us put these valuable materials to better use in our economy instead of shipping them overseas,” said Nick Lapis, Legislative Coordinator for AB 199’s sponsor Californians Against Waste. “At the same time, we can reduce the amount of raw materials we have to pay to extract from around the globe, a process that is not only unsustainable but also extremely harmful to our environment and climate.”

AB 199 creates a sales-and-use tax exemption on purchases of equipment used for recycling and composting, as well as equipment that processes recycled materials. Businesses may apply for the exemption with the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), which provides similar exemptions for sustainable energy and transportation purchases with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As California strives to achieve its ambitious recycling goal (AB 341, Chesbro, 2011) of recycling 75 percent of the solid waste it generates by 2020, an estimated 22 million tons will have to be recycled or composted instead of being sent to a landfill. Additionally, a new law (AB 1826, Chesbro, 2014) set to take effect next year will require restaurants, grocery stores, apartments and other commercial generators of organic waste to contract to have to that waste composted or anaerobically digested, increasing the need for equipment to handle this new material.

CAEATFA is authorized to approve up to $100 million in sales tax exemptions per year. However, despite approving almost every exemption application, it has only approved $82 million in total exemptions since the initial exemptions were first created through legislation in 2010.

Recycling and composting are extremely effective methods of reducing greenhouse gases; recycling reduces the need for carbon-intensive virgin resource extraction, while composting prevents organic waste from ending up buried in landfills, where anaerobic bacteria feed on it and release methane into the atmosphere. Additionally, research shows that applying finished compost to drought-stricken land can help soil generate grasses capable of absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.

According to California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, CalRecycle, every year the state exports 20 million tons of recyclables that are worth nearly $8 billion. They estimate that meeting the state’s recycling goals with in-state infrastructure could generate an additional 110,000 jobs, on top of the existing 125,000 people employed in recycling.

Furthermore, CalRecycle reports that, for every ton of materials that gets recycled instead of being disposed, California’s 5300 recycling establishments will pay an additional $101 in salaries, produce $275 more in goods and services, and generate $135 more in sales.

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October 8 - California Approves Nation’s Toughest Ban on Plastic Microbeads

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               

CONTACT:

Sean MacNeil (Bloom) (916) 319-2050
Mark Murray (CAW) (916) 443-5422
Stiv Wilson (Story of Stuff) (503) 913-7381
Andria Ventura (Clean Water Action) (415) 369-9166
Anna Cummins (5 Gyres) (310) 998-8616


SACRAMENTO – Today California Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s toughest ban on personal care products containing plastic microbeads, such as toothpastes, soaps, and shower gels, that are designed to be rinsed down the drain. Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) authored AB 888 after trillions of the tiny fragments of plastic ended up in rivers, lakes and oceans, where they are mistaken for food by fish and other wildlife.

“Today, California once again steps forward to lead the nation in environmental protection. While other states have passed regulations on the use of microbeads, this legislation was carefully crafted to avoid any loopholes that would allow for use of potentially harmful substitutes. AB 888 ensures that personal care products will be formulated with environmentally-safe alternatives,” said Assemblymember Bloom.

AB 888 is sponsored by the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), Californians Against Waste, The Story of Stuff Project, The 5 Gyres Institute and Clean Water Action.

According to CASA, after plastic microbeads are rinsed down the drain, their small size allows them to often bypass wastewater treatment filters. They then end up in local waterways and eventually the ocean where they attract chemicals such as PCBs and flame retardants to their surfaces. This can pose a threat to human health when fish and other organisms mistake them for food and the toxins make their way up the food chain.

“It never made sense to put these tiny bits of plastic in products designed to be rinsed down the drain, polluting water and threatening wildlife,” said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste. “California has adopted the strictest ban on polluting plastic microbeads in the nation, and it will serve as the defacto national standard.”

Unlike plastic microbead bans passed in other states, AB 888 does not allow for companies to use microbeads that are made of new formulations of plastic that their producers claim are safe or “biodegradable” because such claims have not been scientifically proven.

“The sponsors and author of The California Microbeads Bill drafted our policy to be the most environmentally responsible in the world. We simply banned plastic microbeads of any kind,” said Stiv Wilson, Campaigns Director for The Story of Stuff Project. “If industry wants to use a form of biodegradable plastic, they're going to have to prove it’s totally safe before they can use it. We are not taking their word for it. Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble fought us every step of the way, never producing a shred of evidence about the safety of their so-called 'green innovation' alternatives. The state of California called their bluff.” The Story of Stuff Project produced this online video to explain plastic microbeads pollution.

A recent study by the San Francisco Estuary Institute found the San Francisco Bay has some of the highest concentrations of plastic pollution of any major U.S. body of water, and a recent UC Davis study found a quarter of fish at markets have ingested plastic or other man-made debris.

The 5 Gyres Institute, a leading research organization focusing on plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, discovered microbeads on a research expedition in the Great Lakes, where they found as many as 466,000 microplastics per square kilometer.

“Our research estimates that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. AB 888 will eliminate a significant contributor of plastic pollution at the source, before it ever has a chance to reach the oceans,” said Anna Cummins, Executive Director of 5 Gyres. “We are proud to cosponsor legislation that will give California the strongest protection in the country from harmful plastic microbeads.”

“The shocking part about the fight to get AB 888 passed in California is that plastics are a major but totally avoidable form of toxic pollution in a state with limited water resources,” said Andria Ventura, Toxics Program Manager for Clean Water Action. “Safe alternatives have been on the market since before plastic existed. Clean Water Action’s members overwhelmingly supported this bill because they don’t want to contaminate our waters by the simple action of washing their faces.”

Plastic microbeads generally measure less than 1 millimeter in diameter and are added to facial scrubs, toothpastes and other personal care products as colorants or exfoliants. A single product can contain 350,000 microbeads. Many natural alternatives, such as apricot shells and cocoa beans, are already used instead of plastic microbeads in many personal care products. AB 888 takes effect on January 1, 2020, and will keep an estimated 38 tons of plastic pollution out of California’s freshwater and marine environments every year.

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Sept 11 - Legislature Passes Sales Tax Exemption on Recycling, Composting Equipment

CONTACT: Nick Lapis (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO – The California Legislature, in a bipartisan vote this evening, approved legislation authored by Assembly Member Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) that would generate investments in jobs and a more efficient economy by creating a sales tax exemption on equipment used for recycling and composting. Assembly Member Eggman has worked on this issue since her first year in the legislature, and a previous attempt to enact this policy stalled during the prior legislative session. AB 199 now goes to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.

“This legislation can help us make the most of the materials we too often discard or ship overseas,” said Assembly Member Eggman. “I’ve seen dozens of local companies turn trash into treasure by recycling discards into new products. This not only eliminates the need for extracting new raw materials, it helps create manufacturing jobs.”

“California’s commitment to recycling has diverted millions of tons of recyclables per year, cut greenhouse gases, and created 125,000 jobs over the past two decades,” said Nick Lapis, Legislative Coordinator for CAW. “However, most of what we continue to send to landfills is readily recyclable or compostable. By collecting, processing and manufacturing these materials into new products in the state we can support a sustainable and prosperous California economy. Assembly Member Eggman understands that entrepreneurs, workers and local communities are critical in this effort and we applaud her leadership.”

AB 199 would provide a sales-and-use tax exemption on recycling and composting equipment, as well as equipment that uses recycled content in the manufacturing of new products. According to CalRecycle, California exports 20 million tons of recyclables annually, worth nearly $8 billion. Keeping more of these valuable materials here would allow Californians to share in both the environmental and economic benefits of their recycling efforts.

According to CalRecycle, for every ton of materials that gets recycled instead of being disposed, California’s 5300 recycling establishments will pay an additional $101 in salaries, produce $275 more in goods and services, and generate $135 more in sales. Furthermore, CalRecycle estimates that meeting the state’s recycling goals with in-state infrastructure could generate an additional 110,000 jobs, on top of the existing 125,000 people employed in recycling.

As California strives to achieve its ambitious recycling goal (AB 341 Chesbro, 2011) of recycling 75 percent of the solid waste it generates by 2020, an estimated 22 million tons will have to be collected and diverted from the state’s waste stream. Additionally, next year’s implementation of AB 1826 (Chesbro) will require restaurants, grocery stores, apartments and other commercial generators of organic waste to contract to have to that waste composted or anaerobically digested, increasing the need for infrastructure to handle this new material.

Assembly Member Eggman has worked to create jobs with a sales-and-use tax exemption on recycling and composting equipment for nearly three years. She introduced similar legislation shortly after she was first elected in 2012, and although it did not pass, she remained focused on the issue and introduced AB 199 earlier this year.

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Sept 8 - California Assembly Sends Governor Bill to Ban Plastic Microbeads

CONTACT: Mark Murray (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO- Today the California State Assembly approved legislation to ban the sale of personal care products containing plastic microbeads.  Having already gained approval in the State Senate, AB 888 now goes to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.  The bill is authored by Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) and sponsored by Californians Against Waste (CAW), The Story of Stuff Project, The 5 Gyres Institute, Clean Water Action and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA). 

“Toxic microbeads are accumulating in our rivers, lakes and oceans at alarmingly high levels. We can and must act now,” said Assembly Member Bloom. “Continuing to use these harmful and unnecessary plastics when natural alternatives are widely available is simply irresponsible and will only result in significant cleanups costs to taxpayers who will have to foot the bill to restore our already limited water resources and ocean health.”

“This legislation will eliminate the billions of plastic microbeads that are dumped into California’s precious freshwater and marine environments every day,” said Mark Murray, CAW Executive Director. “I am confident that, if the governor signs this bill, future generations will look back and wonder why these tiny pieces of plastic were ever even considered for use in products that are designed to be washed down the drain.”

“We’re extremely pleased by the passage of AB 888,” said Roberta Larson, CASA Executive Director. “Plastic microbeads can pass through some wastewater treatment plants and make their way into the environment, where they can be harmful to marine life. Controlling these microbeads at their source is simply good public policy. CASA is proud to be a sponsor of this bill, and, along with our agency members, worked hard for its passage.”

Plastic microbeads measure less than 5 millimeters in diameter and are added to facial scrubs, toothpastes and other personal care products as colorants or exfoliants. A single product can contain 350,000 microbeads. They are designed to wash down the drain and are so small that they are rarely captured by wastewater filters, according to CASA. After escaping wastewater treatment, they end up in local waterways and eventually the ocean, where they attract chemicals such as PCBs and flame retardants to their surfaces. This can pose a threat to human health when fish and other organisms mistake them for food and the toxins make their way up the food chain.

Many natural alternatives, such as apricot shells and cocoa beans, have already successfully been used instead of plastic microbeads in personal care products. If signed by the governor, AB 888 would keep 38 tons of plastic pollution out of California's aquatic environment every year. The law would take effect on January 1, 2020.

California Senate Approves Bill to Ban Plastic Microbeads

CONTACT: Mark Murray (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO – Today the California State Senate passed legislation to ban the sale of personal care products containing plastic microbeads. AB 888 is authored by Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) and sponsored by Californians Against Waste (CAW), The Story of Stuff Project, The 5 Gyres Institute, Clean Water Action and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA). The bill is supported by over 75 water agencies, environmental and health advocacy organizations, and green businesses throughout California, and now goes back to the Assembly for approval of amendments made in the Senate.

“Toxic microbeads are accumulating in our rivers, lakes and oceans at alarmingly high levels. We can and must act now,” said Assembly Member Bloom. “Continuing to use these harmful and unnecessary plastics when natural alternatives are widely available is simply irresponsible and will only result in significant cleanups costs to taxpayers who will have to foot the bill to restore our already limited water resources and ocean health.”

“This legislation will eliminate the billions of plastic microbeads that are dumped into California’s precious freshwater and marine environments every day,” said Mark Murray, CAW Executive Director. “I am confident that, if the governor signs this bill, future generations will look back and wonder why these tiny pieces of plastic were ever even considered for use in products that are designed to be washed down the drain.”

“We’re extremely pleased by the passage of AB 888,” said Roberta Larson, CASA Executive Director. “Plastic microbeads can pass through some wastewater treatment plants and make their way into the environment, where they can be harmful to marine life. Controlling these microbeads at their source is simply good public policy. CASA is proud to be a sponsor of this bill, and, along with our agency members, worked hard for its passage.”

Plastic microbeads measure less than 5 millimeters in diameter and are added to facial scrubs, toothpastes and other personal care products as colorants or exfoliants. A single product can contain 350,000 microbeads. They are designed to wash down the drain and are so small that they are rarely captured by wastewater filters, according to CASA. After escaping wastewater treatment, they end up in local waterways and eventually the ocean, where they attract chemicals such as PCBs and flame retardants to their surfaces. This can pose a threat to human health when fish and other organisms mistake them for food and the toxins make their way up the food chain.

Many natural alternatives, such as apricot shells and cocoa beans, have already successfully been used instead of plastic microbeads in personal care products. If signed by the governor, AB 888 would keep 38 tons of plastic pollution out of California's aquatic environment every year. The law would take effect on January 1, 2020.

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Senate Sends Governor Bill to Include Compost Facilities in Local Planning

Planning Would Help State Transition from Landfilling Food Scraps and Yard Trimmings to Composting

SACRAMENTO – The Senate voted yesterday to pass AB 876, authored by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), which requires local governments to plan for the building of sufficient composting infrastructure to process the organic waste generated in their jurisdictions over a 15-year period.

“I am pleased that this effort to take organic material out of landfills is one step closer to being fully realized,” said Assembly Member McCarty.

“It is clear that we have much better uses for our food scraps and yard trimmings than to let them rot in landfills and contribute to climate change,” said Nick Lapis, Legislative Coordinator for Californians Against Waste. “AB 876 moves the state one step closer to healthier soils and a healthier climate.”

Local governments have long been required to plan for 15 years of disposal capacity to avoid running out of landfill space, but, as the state begins to successfully divert organic waste from landfills, it is becoming increasingly important to plan for the composting and anaerobic digestion facilities that will be necessary to handle this material.

“We celebrate the passage of AB 876, which acknowledges that California jurisdictions need to plan for organics capacity, at least as much as they do for landfill capacity,” said Matt Cotton, Board Member for Californians Against Waste.

Nearly two-thirds of the material that Californians send to landfills is plant-based and nearly half is compostable or digestible. Not only is recovering this material an indispensable part of the state’s goal of recycling 75% of California’s waste, but it is also crucial to the state’s climate efforts.

The Air Resources Board has set a goal of "effectively eliminating disposal of organic waste at landfills" by 2025 to prevent landfill methane emissions, and Governor Jerry Brown has established a “Healthy Soil Initiative” to increase the use of compost to increase water retention and remove carbon from the atmosphere. In addition, CAW-sponsored legislation passed last year will require businesses to separate their organic waste (AB 1826, Chesbro) and local governments to find new uses for yard trimmings that had been previously sent to landfills (AB 1594, Williams).

AB 876 will require local governments, beginning August 1, 2017, to play a larger role in achieving these goals by requiring them to assess the amount of organic waste that will be generated in a region over a 15-year period, and identify locations for new or expanded organic waste recycling facilities capable of handling this material.

The bill now heads to desk of Governor Jerry Brown.

 

Founded in 1977, Californians Against Waste is a non-profit environmental research and advocacy organization that identifies, develops, promotes and monitors policy solutions to pollution and conservation problems posing a threat to public health and the environment. Californians Against Waste's history has demonstrated it to be the nation's oldest, largest and most effective non-profit environmental organization advocating for the implementation of waste reduction and recycling policies and programs.

 

Californians Against Waste: www.cawrecycles.org

 

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Jul 16 - Governor Appoints Environmental Champion To Lead CalRecycle

CONTACT: Mark Murray (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO – Governor Jerry Brown has announced that he has appointed Scott Smithline to serve as the Director of the State’s Department of Resource Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle). 

Scott worked at the environmental organization Californians Against Waste from 2003 to 2012, prior to being appointed CalRecycle’s Assistant Director for Policy Development in 2012. 

“I have had the pleasure of working with Scott Smithline for 12 years, and I am confident that he will be the ideal leader as we start the next chapter of California’s efforts to find new uses for materials that we have historically discarded,” said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste. “Scott possesses a truly unparalleled level of policy expertise, stakeholder awareness, and passion for recycling and environmental issues.”   

                       CAW staff and board members at CAW's 34th Birthday Event in 2011

                       CAW staff and board members at CAW's 34th Birthday Event in 2011

CalRecycle is charged with both regulating the state’s waste management industry and supporting efforts to increase recycling. The agency administers the Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act (Bottle Bill program), as well as programs for recycling electronic waste, tires, mattresses, and carpet, among other products that have proven to be hard to manage at the end of their useful lives. CalRecycle has over 700 employees and an overall budget of $1.3 billion, the vast majority of which is paid out to consumers, recyclers and recycled product makers as recycling incentives.

As director, Smithline will be responsible for implementing CAW-sponsored AB 341 (Chesbro, 2011), recently signed legislation that will increase California’s recycling goal to 75% by 2020, as well as new requirements for businesses and apartments to recycle both traditional recyclables and organic waste. In addition, the department plays a crucial role in meeting the state’s climate goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and supporting the reintroduction of recycled materials into the state’s manufacturing economy.

California’s efforts to conserve resources and reduce pollution associated with the more than 60 million tons of waste generated in the state annually faces a series of significant challenges and opportunities over the next 5 years. How we respond will determine whether ‘recycling’ in California is perceived as an affirmation of our state’s global environmental leadership, or the inexplicable exception.

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July 13 - Proposed Sales Tax Exemption on Recycling Equipment Advances

SACRAMENTO – A bipartisan majority of the California State Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation today approved legislation sponsored by Californians Against Waste (CAW) that would create a sales tax exemption for recycling and composting equipment. Assembly Member Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) authored AB 199 to help California’s recycling industry create high-paying jobs and process more of the state’s recyclable materials, instead of shipping them overseas.

recycling-equipment

“We don’t have to accept the tired, old way of thinking that business and the environment are necessarily at odds,” said Assembly Member Eggman. “AB 199 will reward innovative businesses that provide both economic and environmental benefits, and will reduce the export of waste, allowing in-state companies to reap the benefits and aid the development of nascent green industries in California.”

“California’s commitment to recycling has diverted millions of tons of recyclables per year, cut greenhouse gases, and created 125,000 jobs over the past two decades,” said Nick Lapis, Legislative Coordinator for CAW. “However, most of what we continue to send to landfills is readily recyclable or compostable. By collecting, processing and manufacturing these materials into new products in the state we can support a sustainable and prosperous California economy. Assembly Member Eggman understands that entrepreneurs, workers and local communities are critical in this effort and we applaud her leadership.”

AB 199 would provide a sales-and-use tax exemption for recycling equipment or equipment that uses recycled content in the manufacturing of new products. According to CalRecycle, California exports 20 million tons of recyclables annually, worth nearly $8 billion. Keeping more of these valuable materials here would allow Californians to share in both the environmental and economic benefits of their recycling efforts.

According to CalRecycle, for every ton of materials that gets recycled instead of being disposed, California’s 5300 recycling establishments will pay an additional $101 in salaries, produce $275 more in goods and services, and generate $135 more in sales. Furthermore, CalRecycle estimates that meeting the state’s recycling goals with in-state infrastructure could generate an additional 110,000 jobs, on top of the existing 125,000 people employed in recycling.

As California strives to achieve its ambitious recycling goal (AB 341, 2011) of recycling 75% of the solid waste it generates by 2020, an estimated 22 million tons will have to be collected diverted from the state’s waste stream.

AB 199 now goes to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

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Jun 29 -Gov, Advocates, Celebrities Call on Shoppers, Retailers & Local Gov to Sack Plastic Bags Despite Industry Financed delay

SACRAMENTO – A coalition of state leaders, celebrities and environmental advocates are marking what should have been the last day for plastic grocery bags in California by urging shoppers, businesses and local governments to take action to eliminate the polluting plastic anyway, despite an industry-financed effort to delay the law.

SB 270, by former Senator (now Secretary of State) Alex Padilla, was adopted by the legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014. That law was scheduled to take effect July 1, 2015 and would have been the first statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags in the nation. Implementation has been delayed until November 2016, pending the outcome of a referendum financed by plastic bag companies in Texas and South Carolina.

At a press conference and reusable bag giveaway at the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op tomorrow, Secretary Padilla will call on Californians to stop using plastic bags and announce the launch of the #MyBag social media campaign.  The new social media campaign will feature the Office of Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and other public figures taking to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to show off their reusable bags, explain how they reduce plastic pollution, and urge their social media followers to do the same using #MyBag.

On Wednesday, a reusable bag giveaway will also take place in San Diego. Sacramento and San Diego are among the latest cities preparing to join 137 local governments in California that have already implemented local bans on single-use plastic bags.

WHAT:                      Plastic Bag Ban Press Conference and Reusable Bag Giveaway
WHERE:                   Sacramento Natural Food Co-op (1900 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95816)
WHEN:                      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
WHO:                         Secretary of State Alex Padilla (author of CA bag ban)

Every day that California’s statewide plastic bag ban is delayed, 17 million more plastic bags are sold in the state that would not be sold if the ban were in effect. The delay is providing plastic bag companies with $138 million more in revenue from July 1, 2015 to November 2016.

California vs. Big Plastic: www.CAvsBigPlastic.com

Jun 3 - Assembly Passes Reforms for Tire Recycling Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 3, 2015
Francesca Segre (Gordon) (650) 691-2121
John Casey (Atkins) (916) 319-2408
Nick Lapis (CAW) (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly on Tuesday passed legislation authored by Assemblymember Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that would increase tire recycling in the state.

“AB 1239 will help expand the state's tire recycling infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gases, create jobs, and cut the statewide and local costs associated with tire pile cleanup,” said Assemblymember Gordon. “This is an opportunity to have more Californians employed in the recycling industry and have fewer tires in our landfills.”

“Reducing tire pollution at the source is something we can and should do in the state of California,” said Speaker Atkins. “We have seen the cost of the status quo here. We see tires illegally dumped in our environment, including the Tijuana River. We have local governments, including San Diego, paying to clean them up. This bill would put the brakes on these out of control costs to taxpayers and the environment, and at the same time create recycling industry jobs in California.”

“Tires have long been one of the most problematic waste streams,” said Nick Lapis, Legislative Coordinator for Californians Against Waste, which is sponsoring AB 1239. “We applaud Assemblymember Gordon and Speaker Atkins for their leadership and for creating a smart policy that will encourage the recycling of tires, as opposed to contributing to the landfill legacy left for future generations, or the illegal dumping we too often see in our communities.”

AB 1239 would establish a Tire Recycling Incentive Program to provide an incentive payment to end-users of recycled tires as well as manufacturers who produce consumer products using recycled tires. This is a model that has proven successful for other recycled materials (including the state’s Electronic Waste Recycling Program and the Beverage Container Recycling Program), and multiple statewide studies (going back over two decades) have recommended a similar approach to increasing tire recycling.

“Californians generate 42 million passenger tires every single year, and the management of these tires has proven difficult,” said Lapis. “Illegally dumped tires pose a significant cost to local governments and the state, large abandoned tire piles can result in weeks-long fires, and the recycling rate has remained largely stagnant for several years.”

AB 1239 now goes to the Senate.

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Californians Against Waste is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving resources, preventing pollution and protecting the environment through the development, promotion and implementation of waste reduction and recycling policies and programs. Visit www.cawrecycles.org.com to learn more.

May 22 - California Assembly Passes Ban On Plastic Microbeads

CONTACT: Mark Murray (916) 443-5422

SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly today passed legislation banning plastic microbeads in personal care products sold in California. AB 888, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), is sponsored by several environmental organizations including Californians Against Waste and now goes to the Senate.

“Toxic microbeads are accumulating in our rivers, lakes and oceans at alarmingly high levels. We can and must act now,” said Bloom. “Continuing to use these harmful and unnecessary plastics when natural alternatives are widely available is simply irresponsible and will only result in significant cleanups costs to taxpayers who will have to foot the bill to restore our already limited water resources and ocean health.”

“Plastic microbeads are a serious and completely preventable source of water pollution,” said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste. “If a manufacturer tried to dump 40 tons of plastic pollution into the ocean, they would be arrested and fined for violating the Clean Water Act. But these cosmetic and soap makers are doing the same thing on a daily bases with billions of plastic microbeads washed down millions of drains. Enough is enough.”

Plastic microbeads measure less than 5 millimeters in diameter and are added to facial scrubs and other personal care products as exfoliants or colorants. Plastic microbeads are also found in some toothpastes, despite periodontal health concerns from dentists and consumers and the fact that there is no known benefit to their use. Plastic microbeads are so small that they are often not captured by wastewater filters according to the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, a sponsor of the bill. Other sponsors of AB 888 include Clean Water Action, the 5 Gyres Institute and the Story of Stuff Project.

After they are flushed into sewers, plastic microbeads begin attracting environmental toxins to their surfaces and are eventually eaten by fish and other animals that mistake them for food, thus polluting the food chain. Scientists estimate that 471 million plastic microbeads are released into San Francisco Bay every day. In 2012, research conducted by the 5 Gyres Institute showed there were more than 450,000 plastic microbeads per square kilometer in parts of Lake Erie.

There are many natural alternatives, such as apricot shells and cocoa beans, which are already used instead of plastic microbeads in facial scrubs and other personal care products. AB 888 is supported by over 40 water agencies and environmental and health advocacy organizations throughout California. The bill must be approved by the Senate and governor before becoming law. The law would go into effect January 1, 2020.

Californians Against Waste is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving resources, preventing pollution and protecting the environment through the development, promotion and implementation of waste reduction and recycling policies and programs. Visit www.cawrecycles.org.com to learn more.

Feb 3 - Plastic Bag Companies Spent Nearly $3.3 Million on Referendum Campaign to Repeal Bag Ban (Press Release)

Submitted by Recycling News on February 3, 2015 - 15:33.

Contact: Steven Maviglio, 916-607-8340

PLASTIC BAG COMPANIES SPENT NEARLY $3.3 MILLION ON REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN TO REPEAL BAG BAN
97.9% OF FUNDS FROM OUT OF STATE, SECRETARY OF STATE RECORDS SHOW

SACRAMENTO, CA – Plastic bag companies have raised more than $3,346,000 and spent $3,266,679 in their attempt to put a repeal of California’s plastic bag ban on the ballot, outspending bill supporters by more than 25-1.

According to reports filed yesterday with the Secretary of State, 97.9 percent of the funds for the effort are from companies from outside of California. All donations to the effort are from corporations; not a single California citizen has contributed to the campaign.

“This attempt to hijack California’s political process and attempt to repeal a law enacted by the Legislature, signed by the Governor, and supported by wide margins of Californians by out-of-state corporations is simply outrageous,” said Mark Murray of California vs. Big Plastic, the committee opposing the repeal. “Californians have a long tradition of rejecting special interest ballot measures bankrolled by out-of-state corporations. We are confident they will do the same in November 2016.”

Of the plastic companies expenditures, $2,930,362 went to National Petition Management of Roseville, which conducted the signature collection campaign for the out-of-state plastic companies. Their efforts are the subject of a complaint filed with Attorney General Kamala Harris over deceptive efforts to garner signatures.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance, the plastic bag industry’s campaign committee, reported having $177,659 cash on hand on December 31, 2014. A campaign to repeal the law, which is expected to be on the November 2016 ballot after certification later this month, is estimated to cost approximately $30 million.

California vs. Big Plastic has raised $49,500 and spent $129,732, according to the reports. It is available here.

Dec 29 - Statement on Turning in of Signatures by Plastic Bag Industry on SB 270 Referendum (Press Release)

Submitted by Recycling News on December 29, 2014 - 11:32.

Contact: Mark Murray, 916-443-5422, 916-995-8655

For Immediate Release

PLASTIC BAG BAN SUPPORTERS STATEMENT ON TURNING IN OF SIGNATURES BY PLASTIC BAG INDUSTRY ON SB 270 REFERENDUM

SACRAMENTO – Mark Murray of California vs. Big Plastic, the coalition of local officials, environmental, labor, and business groups supporting the state’s plastic bag ban, issued the following statement after the plastic bag industry turned in signatures to the California Secretary of State today seeking to force a referendum on the state’s ban recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown:

“After spending more than $3.1 million, 98 percent of which was raised from out of state, it is clear that the plastic bag industry is more interested in their own profits than reducing an unnecessary source of pollution and waste that threaten California’s wildlife and pollutes our ocean, coast, and our communities. Californians overwhelmingly support the law, and the $30 million to $50 million it will cost the plastics industry to launch a full-fledged campaign in 2016 if the measure qualifies will be proven to be an act of political malpractice, particularly since nearly half the state will no longer have plastic bags by election day.

“Single use plastic shopping pose a costly burden on our environment and our economy. After listening to the public, hundreds of local elected officials, the state legislature and the Governor have moved to eliminate plastic bags. Virtually all of the plastic bags sold in California are produced by just three out of state corporations. And these corporations and their chemical suppliers have made it clear that they will do and say anything, and pay any price to continue to sell plastic bags into California.

“This is not the first time that out-of-state polluters have attempted to repeal a California environmental law. In 2010, out-of-state oil companies, along with the Koch Brothers spent more millions on Proposition 23, an initiative that would have suspended AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. Voters soundly rejected that effort by polluters, and we are confident that, given the opportunity, voters will reject a repeal of the plastic bag ban.”

A recent USC Dornsife/LA Times poll showed solid and broad support for the law with 60% approval. That  poll also shows that support for banning plastic bags is even higher in communities that have already eliminated them.

Murray noted that the plastics industry was soundly defeated in the only previous vote on a plastic bag ban in California. Voters in the city of Fairfax supported its bag ban by more than a 4-1 margin (78.5-21.5%) in 2008.

A link to the contributions by plastic companies to the campaign can be found here.

For more information, visit www.CAvsBigPlastic.com and follow us on Twitter@CAvsBigPlastic.

Dec 24 - 12 California Cities Plastic Bag Bans To Go Into Effect in January 2015 (Press Release)

Submitted by Recycling News on December 24, 2014 - 12:10.

Contact: Mark Murray, Californians Against Waste, 916-443-5422

Plastic Bag Bans Go Into Effect in 12 Cities on January 1, 2015

Possible Vote on Statewide Ban Will Not Affect New Local Bans

SACRAMENTO -- Twelve California cities have bans on single-use plastic bags go into effect in January 2015, joining 138 other jurisdictions in the state with local bans.

They include: Belvedere (1/9/15); Calistoga; Chico; Gonzales; Grass Valley; King City; Martinez; Mercury; Monrovia; Napa; Nevada City; St. Helena (all 1/1/15).

The bans will go into effect regardless of whether a challenge to the statewide law by the plastic bag industry that is slated to go into effect on July 1, 2015 is successful. The industry has spent $3.1 million to put the statewide measure on the November 2016, with 98 percent of the funds contributed by out-of-state bag manufacturers.

If the measure qualifies, a statewide ban will be delayed until November 2016. However, local jurisdictions will continue to be allowed to enact bans. Dozens of cities, including Sacramento, are poised to do just that.

Nearly 40 percent of the state will be covered by plastic bag bans in 2015, notes Mark Murray of Californians Against Waste.

"Consumers in communities with bans strongly support them," says Murray. "They discover that the initial inconvenience is far outweighed by the savings and the benefits of reusable bags.

"The statewide bag ban is basically tying up the loose ends, taking these very successful local plastic bag bans and applying that same concept statewide," he says.


Please visit www.CAvsBigPlastic.com; "Like" us on Facebook; and follow us on Twitter@CAvsBigPlastic.

Dec 18 - Plastic Bag Companies Surpass $3 Mill Mark in Campaign to Force Referendum on Bag Ban (Press Release)

Submitted by Recycling News on December 18, 2014 - 12:37.

For Immediate Release

PLASTIC BAG COMPANIES SURPASS $3 MILLION MARK IN CAMPAIGN TO FORCE REFERENDUM ON PLASTIC BAG BAN
98% of Funds Are From Out of State

SACRAMENTO -- Plastic bag makers have spent more than $3 million -- or more than $5 per signature -- in hopes of placing a referendum on the state's recently-passed plastic bag ban on the November 2016 ballot, according to new data from the California Secretary of State.

Nearly 98 percent of the contributions are from out-of-state companies, according to the reports. Hilex Poly of South Carolina (which has no manufacturing plants in California), is the largest contributor to the campaign, with $1.7 million in contributions to date. Several other bag makers and suppliers, mostly from Texas, also have contributed to the campaign, as has Dow Chemical ($10,000), maker of Agent Orange and DDT.

According to reports, paid signature gatherers are being paid more than $3 per signature they gather (up from $1.50 signature at the beginning of the campaign) and being provided with housing by a signature collection firm. Plastic bag makers must present 504,760 valid signatures to the Secretary of State by Dec. 29 to qualify the referendum.  

On Monday, California vs. Big Plastic, the coalition of local and environmental groups opposing the referendum, filed a complaintwith the California Secretary of State calling for an investigation of dozens of voter complaints about deceptive practices in signature gathering.

“It’s a testament to the public support for the plastic ban that these out of state bag producers have been forced to increase their expenditures to more than $5 per signature this month in an attempt to qualify a repeal of the law. We have documented and reported to the Secretary of State dozens of instances of paid signature gatherers misleading voters in an attempt to get their signature,” said Mark Murray of Californians Against Waste. “California voters are already seeing this campaign for what it is: out-of-state special interests spending millions to protect profits.”

USC/Los Angeles Times poll last month showed overwhelming support for the plastic bag ban. Dozens of more communities, including Sacramento, are planning to move forward with local bans if the referendum qualifies. Some 138 jurisdictions in the statealready have bans.

Out of State          $3,018,333        97.99%
California                  $62,000           2.01%
Grand Total        $3,080,333        

State of Origin              Amount
SC                          $1,700,000.01
TX                             $843,333.34
NJ                            $400,000.00
CA                              $62,000.00
MS                              $50,000.00
NY                              $25,000.00
Grand Total         $3,080,333.35

Contributor                                                                Amount    Percentage
HILEX POLY CO. LLC                                           $1,700,000      55.19%
ADVANCE POLYBAG, INC.                                    $500,000      16.23%
FORMOSA PLASTICS CORPORATION U.S.A.      $400,000      12.99%
SUPERBAG CORP.                                                   $333,333      10.82%
DURABAG CO., INC.                                                 $50,000        1.62%
HERITAGE PLASTICS INC.                                        $50,000        1.62%
PRINCE RUBBER AND PLASTICS CO., INC.            $25,000        0.81%
CROWN POLY, INC.                                                    $12,000       0.39%
THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY                             $10,000       0.32%
Grand Total                                                           $3,080,333