May 10 - Want To Help All Californians Recycle Their Plastic Bags?

AB 2449 goes to the Assembly Floor tomorrow and needs your support.

Californians use over 19 billion plastic grocery and merchandise bags a year, creating 147,000 tons of unnecessary waste in our landfills - enough to circle the planet over 250 times in one year. These bags use up an excess of a million barrels of oil annually, or 4,000 barrels a day in non-renewable resources. In addition, despite some plastic bag collection, the recycling rate is stalled between 1 - 4%.

AB 2449, authored by Assembly Member Levine, could change some of these statistics. It proposes that large grocery stores should sell reusable bags and that they create an in-store recycling program for the collection and recycling of plastic bags.

Although a few localities have begun accepting plastic bags in curbside recycling, most cities still do not. As a result, many Californians throw their bags away, or inappropriately try to recycle them, jamming machinery and costing both cities and recyclers. Bags are also problematic as litter. Turtles mistake bags for jellyfish, a main form of prey. Currently, 86% of all known species of sea turtles have had reported problems with marine debris. In the 1980s it was estimated that plastic rubbish killed over 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles a year in the North Pacific alone, a number which has undoubtedly grown since.

Plastic bags are the ghosts of our groceries - invisible to our everyday eye, yet still damaging the vitality of our environment and economy. AB 2449 provides a uniform state recycling program for all Californians to utilize.

Do you wish to support the establishment of a fair recycling system for all Californians to deal with plastic bags? If so, you’re in luck- your legislator will be voting on it tomorrow.

- If you represent an organization or business, please fax your a support letter in on your office letterhead.
- Working from home, or want to speak as a voting individual of the district? Visit this page to send an e-mail, or visit this page to guide you to the correct phone number.

Your legislators are there to speak for you; make sure they know your mind.