Resolution to Embrace and Achieve Zero Waste

 PDF Version

Call to Action

WHEREAS, the first Earth Day was over 50 years ago. Recycling, its natural industrial child, was envisioned to complete the resource circle, save the wilderness, generate jobs, and build the back end of the Gross National Product (GNP) all at once;

WHEREAS, the Earth calls us each and all to move swiftly towards Zero Waste; and

WHEREAS, this Zero Waste World will be founded on environmental and social justice principles that help create vibrant communities in harmony with nature.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that [insert name of City, County, Board, Agency] hereby embraces the following principles on the journey to Zero Waste:

CENTER EQUITY: We stand in solidarity with and support the efforts of frontline communities and Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We envision a just and inclusive system resulting in a sustainable and regenerative future, while advocating for policies and practices that ensure human safety, equitable access to resources and opportunities, and elimination of toxins and pollution that negatively impact ecological health.

REDESIGN: We insist that manufacturers minimize and eliminate hazards and redesign products for highest material and energy efficiency, focusing services and products to embody durability, repairability, reuse, with recycling and/or composting as a final option, in that order.

BAN WASTEFUL PRODUCTS: We will ban products that are demonstrated to be wasteful by design, or contaminate recycling or composting programs, or are problematic in the environment.

MAKE PRODUCERS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROBLEM PRODUCTS: We insist companies minimize and eliminate the hazards their products pose to the environment and human health throughout the entire life cycle of the product, from resource extraction to final disposition.  Further, producers should be held financially responsible for remedies of their product’s impacts – including costs for health care, management of discards, and environmental clean-up.

SEPARATE AT THE SOURCE: After redesign, we will collect all discarded materials and products separated at the source and further sort them into higher quality fractions for reuse, recycling, or composting, with nothing left out and nothing left over.

RESCUE FOOD AND COMPOST ORGANICS: We will establish and support programs to rescue food for people and animals, and to recover organic materials to make and use compost and mulch to reduce and sequester greenhouse gases.

SUPPORT AND EXPAND REPAIR AND REUSE: We will support existing reuse and repair organizations and infrastructure and expand opportunities for reuse and repair through outreach and education, promotion, and investment.

BUILD ZERO WASTE INFRASTRUCTURE: We will invest in Zero Waste infrastructure, including resource recovery parks, to safely salvage usable items and parts and handle all discards as resources to be refined.

END WELFARE FOR WASTING: We will end subsidies for resource extraction and support choosing recovered materials first for manufacturing.

ADVOCATE AND ADAPT AS NEEDED: We will use our power as elected leaders to show what is possible and help our communities to avoid mistakes in meeting the goals that we help them envision. Responses to new challenges such as pandemics, natural disasters, and weather-related emergencies should not create barriers to move towards a just world of vibrant, resilient, Zero Waste communities, in harmony with nature. 

To achieve a worldwide culture that sustains the planet in perpetuity, we stand together!

Created by the Global Recycling Council a Technical Council of the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) and vetted by Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA), Zero Waste USA, and Global Anti-Incinerators Alliance (GAIA)

AB 619 Success!


For Immediate Release 

July 15, 2019 

Jen Kwart,, 415.557.3013 

Bill to Help Reduce Landfill Waste at Festivals Signed by Governor

Law will allow reusable containers and food ware to be used at temporary events, concerts, fairs, and restaurants 

Sacramento, CA—A bill authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to allow the use of reusable food ware at temporary food events like concerts or fairs was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on July 12. Assembly Bill 619 will also clarify previous law to make it easier for consumers to bring their own reusable containers to restaurants for food service. 

“Having fun at a concert or festival does not have to result in a sea of trash,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “I am grateful Governor Newsom saw the need for this new law that will give event organizers the ability to make greener choices and reduce landfill waste.” 

Despite valiant efforts by many temporary event organizers to reduce waste, most single-use food and beverage containers used at these events end up in landfills where they do not decompose and leach toxic chemicals creating public health concerns. 

While significant advancements have been made to create recyclable or compostable single-use products, few single-use containers actually are fully recyclable or compostable. Further, outside of a select few municipalities, most localities in California do not have the capacity to recycle plastic food containers, and most localities do not have composting programs. 

To solve this problem, further work can be done to create greener single-use products or to advance recycling and composting capabilities. However, the simpler solution is to not create any waste to begin with by allowing event organizers to make greener choices and shifting consumer behavior. 

Before AB 619 was signed, California law prohibited the use of reusable food ware at temporary events. AB 619 will remove this restrictive provision and give vendors at temporary events the option to serve food and beverages in multi-use washable containers. This will give food and beverage vendors the ability to save money, protect the environment, respond to shifting consumer preferences, and market their efforts to reduce waste. 

Under AB 619, temporary event vendors will be required to meet strict food safety standards and get authorization from local public health enforcement authorities in order to use reusable food ware. 

Additionally, the law will clarify a confusing provision in code that was supposed to address when consumers can bring their own containers to restaurants for food service. AB 619 allows consumers to bring reusable containers to be filled but gives clear guidance to restaurants on how to serve food using the container while still ensuring adequate food safety standards are maintained. 

The Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition was a sponsor of AB 619. 

“Hooray! One small step for solutions to the plastic pollution crisis, one giant leap for paving the way for reusables in California! AB 619 is a crucial step in reducing our reliance on single-use disposable items that plague inland and coastal communities and ecosystems,” said Genevieve Abedon, on behalf of the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition. “The Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition is pleased to have sponsored this bill and work alongside Assemblymember Chiu and his staff to expand consumer choice, help local businesses and advance California’s longstanding goal of reducing landfill waste and plastic pollution. Thank you Assemblymember Chiu, Governor Newsom, and all of our supporters along the way.

”The law will go into effect January 1, 2020. 


Assemblymember David Chiu (D–San Francisco) is the Chair of the Housing & Community Development Committee of the California State Assembly. He represents the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses eastern San Francisco. Learn more at:

Richard Anthony Zero Waste Pioneer Continues to Work on Global and Local Issues

Richard Anthony in the 70s at Cal State University Long Beach
Richard Anthony in the 70s at Cal State University Long Beach

Richard is an early zero waste pioneer having started at Cal State University Long Beach – Recycling Center, a model program and training ground for California Recycling activists. He went on to co-found the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) and became its first president in 1975. Richard also co-founded the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA), Zero Waste San Diego (ZWSD) and the Save the Albatross Coalition (STAC), which he chairs.

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UN Decides to Control Global Plastic Waste Dumping

by Matt Franklin | May 10, 2019 | Press Release | 

UN Decides to Control Global Plastic  Waste Dumping

Major Plastic Waste Producers Must Get Consent Before Exporting their Toxic Trash to Global South

Also available in Bahasa Indonesia: PBB Memutuskan untuk Mengontrol Pembuangan Sampah Plastik Global


MAY 10, 2019

Geneva, Switzerland — Today, 187 countries took a major step forward in curbing the plastic waste crisis by adding plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that controls the movement of hazardous waste from one country to another. The amendmentsrequire exporters to obtain the consent of receiving countries before shipping most contaminated, mixed, or unrecyclable plastic waste, providing an important tool for countries in the Global South to stop the dumping of unwanted plastic waste into their country.

After China banned imports of most plastic waste in 2018, developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, have received a huge influx of contaminated and mixed plastic wastes that are difficult or even impossible to recycle. Norway’s proposed amendments to the Basel Convention provides countries the right to refuse unwanted or unmanageable plastic waste.

The decision reflects a growing recognition around the world of the toxic impacts of plastic and the plastic waste trade. The majority of countries expressed their support for the proposal and over one million people globally signed two public petitions from Avaaz and SumOfUs. Yet even amidst this overwhelming support, there were a few vocal outliers who opposed listing plastic under Annex II of the Basel Convention. These included the United States, the largest exporter of plastic waste in the world; the American Chemistry Council, a prominent petrochemical industry lobbying group; and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a business association largely comprised of waste brokers. As the United States is not a party to the Basel Convention, it will be banned from trading plastic waste with developing countries that are Basel Parties but not part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Invasion of the biosphere by synthetic polymers: What our current knowledge may mean for our future

Author: Captain Charles J. Moore

In 1974, a member of the Council of the British Plastics Federation and a fellow of the Plastics Institute, stated that “Plastics litter is a very small proportion of all litter and causes no harm to the environment except as an eyesore”(Derraik, 2002). It has taken less than fifty years for that opinion to be completely discredited, indeed, that opinion was already in doubt the moment it was stated. Nevertheless, it was the strong denial by the plastic industry that plastics could cause harm that delayed the study of plastic’s environmental effects for decades. Not until Moore et al. (2001) found six times as much plastic as zooplankton by weight in the surface waters of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG), did plastic environmental pollution begin to receive increasing attention by scientists, policy makers, regulators, and the media, who began referring to the area as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, a term coined by an oceanographer, Curtis Ebbesmeyer (Ebbesmeyer and Scigliano, 2009). Today it is widely acknowledged that vagrant plastic waste is polluting oceans, rivers, soil, food, the water we consume, and even the air we breathe. The invasion of this synthetic waste into organisms is facilitated by the fact that with surface ablation and disintegration mechanisms over time, micro- and nano- sized synthetic polymers are created that can be readily assimilated into living organisms. Recent studies reveal that these micro- and nano- scale polymers, which sorb and desorb pollutants, can pass through the intestinal wall and from the lungs to the circulatory system and in contact with human cells produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are implicated in many pathologies (Schirinzi et al., 2017). As primarily a marine scientist, I focus on the threats to marine ecosystems, but the topic of plastic pollution has grown to global proportions affecting not only the biosphere, but geological formations as well. Here I present a summary of the work done to date to understand our situation and discuss briefly the future of plastic pollution.

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AB 2779 passed the Natural Resources Committee – 7-3!

AB 2779 (Stone/Calderon) – Connect the Cap – formerly AB 319 aka Leash the Lid, passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committe 7-3. Our thanks to Chair Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, Author Assemblymember Mark Stone, Richard Bloom, Assemblymember Monique Limón, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Assemblymember Ed Chau, and Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman! The bill now heads to the Assembly Floor.

This very important bill will ensure that all plastic bottles collected in California’s bottle deposit/ CRV program have caps connected so they don’t escape into the environment and add to the ocean plastic pollution problem.


Help get the Connect The Cap Bill to the Assembly Floor!

This coming Monday, April 9th, AB 2779 (Stone/Calderon) – Connect the Cap – formerly AB 319 aka Leash the Lid, will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. This very important bill will ensure that all plastic bottles collected in California’s bottle deposit/ CRV program have caps connected so they don’t escape into the environment and add to the ocean plastic pollution problem.

In response to public pressure in the 1970s, the beverage Industry redesigned the aluminum pull tab on soda cans to help solve the litter problem their cans were creating. Then they transitioned beverage packaging almost entirely to plastic, and recreated the SAME problem. Rather than fix it, the beverage industry (primarily Coca Cola and Pepsi) have decided it’s easier to fight (legislation) than switch (the design of their polluting plastic bottles).

HELP US get AB 2779 to the Assembly Floor! There are two things you can do. 

1) Send a support letter.

2) Generate CALLS from CONSTITUENTS to the following legislators – all Democrats, before April 9. Calls are best – the web contact system does not allow for residents from other districts to contact Assembly members.

District, Committee Members, Office & Contact Information

66, Al Muratsuchi (Acting Chair), Dem, Capitol Office, Room 2179, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0066; (916) 319-2066, Contact
49, Ed Chau, Dem, Capitol Office, Room 5016, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0049; (916) 319-2049Contact
13, Susan Talamantes Eggman, Dem, Capitol Office, Room 4117 P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0013; (916) 319-2013Contact
37, Monique Limón, Dem, Capitol Office, Room 6031, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0037; (916) 319-2037Contact
07, Kevin McCarty, Dem, Capitol Office, Room 2136, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0007; (916) 319-2007,  Contact

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