Sept 11 - Assembly Member Levine: Reducing Plastic Bag Litter & Waste

Assembly Member Lloyd Levine today outlined the case for his legislation to require grocery stores and other retailers to takeback and recycle plastic grocery bags.

The numbers are astounding: Californians use more than 19 billion plastic grocery bags each year, creating 147,038 tons of waste in our landfills. With Californians throwing away over 600 bags per second, they are creating enough waste every year to circle the planet over 250 times.

 

Each year millions of seabirds, sea turtles, fish, and marine mammals become entangled in marine debris or ingest plastics they have mistaken for food. According to recent U.S. EPA estimates, marine debris has had a negative impact on at least 267 species around the world. The plastic can constrict an animals’ movements and kill marine animals through exhaustion. Animals may starve to death as the plastic clogs their intestines preventing them from obtaining vital nutrients.

 

California needs to ensure that plastic bags are recycled and kept from fouling the environment. If California is to begin to address this problem we need a statewide program until curbside recycling of plastic bags is a reality. My Assembly Bill 2449 is such a program.

AB 2449 is supported by environmental groups, local governments, and others and is currently awaiting a signature on Governor Schwarzenegger's desk.

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