Three members of the California State Assembly, Assembly Member Ian Calderon, Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi and Assembly Member Das Williams, who make up an informal "Surf Caucus," encouraged Californians to participate in Earth Day activities today. Appearing in a YouTube video, the Assembly Members all spoke of their love for surfing and the sense of responsibility they feel for preserving California's coast and coastlines.
Plastic is the fastest-growing component of the waste stream, and plastic pollution like expanded polystyrene foam and single-use bags are among the most commonly found items during beach and coastal cleanups. Plastic essentially never biodegrades, so once littered it becomes a permanent environmental problem.
Two of CAW's priority bills, SB 405 (by Senator Alex Padilla) and SB 529 (Senator Mark Leno) would help reduce the impact of plastic marine pollution on California's beaches, marine wildlife and coastal communities. SB 405 bans single-use plastic bags statewide and allows the sale of paper or reusable bags. SB 529 requires that fast food restaurants only use food packaging that is compatible with local recycling and composting infrastructure.
Both bills passed out of the Senate Environmental Quality committee last week and are on their way to the Senate Appropriations committee on April 29.