Oct 12 - Schwarzenegger's Neglect of Marine Debris Undermines Ocean Policy

Governor Schwarzenegger signed a package of marine protection bills Wednesday, but his failure to take any action to address plastic marine debris pollution undermines his overal ocean policy, writes CAW Policy Associate Bryan Early in California Progress Report. Of the several bills crafted this year to address the recommendations of his own Ocean Protection Council regarding marine debris, only one has made it to the Governor, and that bill was conpicuously absent from Wedsneday's ocean package.

"Missing from the package was any policy or program aimed at combating marine pollution resulting from plastic litter and other wastes. This despite a February pronouncement by the Governor’s Ocean Protection Council that reducing marine debris should be a priority of the administration’s ocean protection policy.Plastic litter and waste poses a serious and growing threat to our marine ecosystem."

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In the absence of State action, local municipalities have been taking action to address marine debris pollution. Most recently, both LA City and County have initiated processes that could eventually lead to the banning of dangerous, bouyant foamed polystyrene takeout food packaging, potentially joining a long list of municipalities with ordinances.

CAW and Marine Debris

  • CAW is carrying two important components of the California Ocean Protection Council's resolutions, including AB 904, which will phase out the use of foamed polystyrene takeout food packaging in the state by requring takeout to be recyclable or compostable, and a measure that will expand California's CRV recycling program to include plastic items commonly found as marine debris. Both bills will be active in January.

What You Can Do:

  • The LA City Council is considering a foamed polystyrene takeout food packaging ban. Show up and show your support! Where: LA City Hall, Room 1060. When: Monday, Oct. 15, 3 pm.
  • The City of Long Beach is considering an ordinance that would ban foamed polystyrene takeout food packaging ban. Show up and show your support! Where: Mark Twain Library, 1401 E. Anaheim St, Long Beach. When: Thursday, October 25, 3 pm.