AB 2379 (Bloom) Plastic Microfiber Pollution
Summary: AB 2379 requires that all clothing made from more than 50% or more polyester include a label that warns of plastic microfiber shedding and recommends hand washing the item in order to reduce microfiber shedding.
Position and Status: CAW is co-sponsoring this bill with Story of Stuff.
- Introduced February 14th, 2018
- Double - referred to Assembly Natural Resources Committee and Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee
- Passed Assembly Natural Resources committee hearing (6-4)
- Passed Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee hearing (5-2)
- Next Step: Assembly Floor vote by June 1st, 2018
Description: Microfibers are a subcategory of microplastics consisting of plastic fibers that shed from synthetic fabric during regular washing. Right now, it’s estimated that synthetic microfibers are, by count, the single largest contributor to watershed plastic pollution in developed countries and account for a significant portion of plastic waste entering the ocean. Synthetic materials are ubiquitous in the clothing industry, with polyester being the single most used synthetic fiber globally and accounts for about half of the overall textile market. According to research from University of California, Davis which sampled fish and shellfish sold at local California fish markets, a quarter of fish and a third of shellfish contained plastic debris, with the majority of the plastic debris being microfibers. In a survey that compared 150 tap water samples from locations in five continents, microscopic plastic fibers were found in nearly every sample, with 94% of the United States water samples containing plastic microfibers. This raises an important question about the human health consequences that plastic microfibers can have on people who unknowingly consume them.
AB 2379 will educate the public on the environmental impact that their clothing has, as well as offer a recommendation to hand wash the item in order to reduce the amount of microfibers that will shed from the garment when washed. This is the best first step that Californians can take to reduce plastic microfiber pollution until manufacturers find a way to prevent this problem.
CAW Contact: Melissa Romero, (916)-443-5894
Co-Sponsors: Story of Stuff