The message from the election—at least for California—could not be clearer. Amid staggering unemployment and an ongoing budget crisis, California elected an innovator and original "Green Governor" and affirmed our commitment to combat climate change and build a Green Economy. At the same time, a conservative takeover of Congress means there will be little environmental leadership coming from Washington.
The urgency and opportunity for advancing a California agenda for reducing waste, protecting the environment and creating jobs could not be greater.
Over the last seven years, the current Governor has sided with the State Chamber of Commerce and other special interests and vetoed most of our jobs and recycling agenda:
- 75% waste reduction and recycling. Vetoed!
- Apartment & multi-family recycling. Vetoed!
- Truth in environmental advertising. Vetoed!
- Bottle Bill expansion. Vetoed!
- CFL lamp recycling. Vetoed!
- Phase-out toxic food packaging. Vetoed!
- Curtail marine debris and increase plastic recycling. Vetoed!
- Phase-out of toxics in electronics. Vetoed!
While most Californians do their part to recycle, our state continues to dispose of more than 35 million tons of material. More than 6 million tons of recyclable paper. More than 2 million tons of recyclable glass and metal. And more than 1 million tons of recyclable plastic. Most troubling:
California is landfilling a staggering 6 million tons of food as well as more than 350,000 tons of toxic waste and hazardous household chemicals.
And where is all this waste coming from?
More than 67% of what gets landfilled comes from the commercial and industrial sector, with another 8% coming from apartments and other multi-family dwellings that, thanks to the VETOES, still lack the basic opportunity to recycle.
Enough is enough!
With the right approach and if we work together, we can beat back all those vetoes and make great progress in 2011. To this end, Californians Against Waste, working with economic and environmental experts, has put forward an environmental blue print called…
Building on our 33-year track record of enacting policies that benefit the environment and the economy, we’ve put together a comprehensive legislative package to both conserve resources and grow green jobs. Here are some of the highlights:
- Establish the goal of a "Zero Waste California," capping landfill disposal and achieving 75% waste reduction, recycling and composting by 2020.
- Extend the Opportunity to Recycle to every California household (single and multi-family), school, institution and commercial business.
- Expand the Bottle Bill by adding remaining containers and plastic bottles.
- Reduce single use grocery bag waste by banning plastic bags and promoting reuse. Single use bags cost consumers $250 million annually in grocery costs.
- Expand the E-waste recycling law to include all toxic consumer electronics.
With a new year, a new Governor, and a proven record of success, Californians Against Waste will be working to enact this comprehensive package of conservation and recycling laws.
Remember how they killed the plastic bag ban? We were on the verge of enacting the nation’s first ban on disposable plastic grocery bags. But out-of-state plastic bag and chemical producers spent $2 million dollars on lobbyists and misleading TV ads and killed the bill on the last night of the legislative session. We can’t let that happen again.
CAW has proven many times over our 33-year history that we can overcome special interests and their millions of lobbying dollars and campaign contributions. We do it the old-fashioned way: by organizing grassroots support from members like you all over California.
We need your support today to get this historic recycling plan through the Legislature and on to the governor.
Your tax deductible year-end contribution to CAW Foundation will give us the resources needed to organize grassroots support and keep the pressure on the Legislature and the Governor to achieve our objectives and stop the assault on green initiatives.
Thank you for being a friend of the environment. We truly appreciate your support, and on behalf of our staff and Board of Directors, we wish you a very happy holiday season and a joyous and healthy New Year.