March 24 is Ocean Day in California, a day when environmental groups from across the state gather to flood the State Capitol in Sacramento and remind staff and legislators about one of our greatest resources…our oceans.
This year, Californians Against Waste is sponsoring AB 888, which renews the effort to ban plastic microbeads in the state. Authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), AB 888 would ban the sale of microbeads in toothpaste, facial scrubs and other personal care products. Despite the fact that there are natural alternatives that break down quickly like coffee beans and apricots shells, the plastic industry continues to oppose such legislation and dump trillions of the plastic beads into our oceans and fresh water supplies every year.
Ocean Day advocates will also oppose bills and regulations that negatively impact the oceans, including AB 190 and AB 191. These bills would repeal or weaken California’s landmark ban on single-use plastic bags, which CAW sponsored in 2014. California uses over 13 billion of the bags every year, many of which end up in our oceans, where, along with microbeads, they can be mistaken for food and ingested along with the toxins that have collected on their surfaces. It is estimated that more than 267 wildlife species have been negatively impacted from plastic ocean pollution.
In between meetings, several Ocean Day participants stopped to take this photo. Included in this picture are Teresa Bui with Californians Against Waste, Bernie Diaz, Zachary Plopper, and Dr. Serge Dedina with Wildcoast and Stiv Wilson with the Story of Stuff Project.