For Immediate Release
July 15, 2019
Jen Kwart, email@example.com, 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: https://a17.asmdc.org/
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.Continue Reading →
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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
For years, China accepted enormous amounts of plastic waste from wealthy countries — but in 2018 it imposed a ban. Now other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia are being flooded with plastic waste.
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.Continue Reading →
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.
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) 319-2049, Contact
13, Susan Talamantes Eggman, Dem, Capitol Office, Room 4117 P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0013; (916) 319-2013, Contact
37, Monique Limón, Dem, Capitol Office, Room 6031, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0037; (916) 319-2037, Contact
07, Kevin McCarty, Dem, Capitol Office, Room 2136, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0007; (916) 319-2007, Contact
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MYTH #1: The technology for tethering caps does not exist and is not being used.
FACT: It does exist and it is being used. Crystal Geyser is using its 1-Cap, manufactured in California, and rolling it out eventually at all bottling plants. This cap uses less plastic and is saving the company money. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are both using sport cap designs in some of their bottled water lines.
MYTH #2: A tethered cap cannot be used for hot filled (ex: tea) or carbonated beverages.
FACT: There are multiple designs that can be used for ALL beverage types, such as StayWith™ and ThisCap.
The The Stay-With technology is adaptable to all closure platforms since Stay-With is not a new cap. It is a feature that can be added to existing caps. A single “slide” can be added to molding machines to remove the plastic that defines the tether feature so the closure can be manufactured using less plastic and works for cold fill, hot fill and carbonated beverages.
ThisCap Inc. has a developed a no extra manufacturing cost tethered flat cap designed for use on ALL single use beverage and chemical bottles requiring a tamper evident ring. ThisCap is working with a company whose machines are used to manufacture more than 50% of all tamper evident ring flat caps use worldwide. The cap – exactly the type that would be required under Assembly Bill 319 — is slated to hit the shelves in Asia, India and South Africa this year. http://www.thiscap.com/
MYTH #3 – Tethered caps may not be recyclable.
FACT- They are ALL recyclable. All bottle recyclers prefer to receive bottles with caps on so they can recycle them. Caps are made from PET or Polypropylene- the two most recyclable plastics. Recyclers all have technologies to separate PET bottles from Polypropylene caps. Carbon-Lite operates the world’s largest bottle-to-bottle plastic recycling plant in Riverside, CA. They are in support of the bill.
MYTH #4: 87% of bottles are returned with caps back on, so this isn’t a big problem.
FACT: UNTRUE. CalRecycle has not published a comprehensive study on the rate of bottles returned with or without caps on and confirmed that the 87% number referenced was taken out of context from an unrelated and small study. The results of the study were not published, not intended to be used as a source referencing bottles returned with bottle caps on, and has been used without CalRecycle’s permission. 5 billion bottle caps per year are not returned for recycling (i.e. littered or landfilled) in California (Californians Against Waste). It’s a BIG problem.
MYTH #5: Educating consumers to keep the CAP ON is the solution.
FACT: EDUCATION HAS NOT WORKED. The Assoc. of Post-Consumer Plastics Recyclers (APR) launched the CAPS ON education campaign in 2010. There’s been no reduction in cap litter counted in annual litter cleanup events. Here’s an announcement of the 2010 campaign launch: https://earth911.com/food/the-verdict-is-in-keep-the-bottle-caps-on/
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