AB 319 – Connect The Cap – Myth vs. Fact


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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AB 319 Leash The Lid Bill Passes Assembly Resources!

The “Connect the Cap” (formerly “Leash the Lid”) bill, AB 319 (Stone), passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee January 8, 7 Ayes – 3 Noes, and now it’s going to the Assembly Floor! California readers, please let your Assembly representative know you support of this groundbreaking effort to reduce plastic pollution and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of birds and animals.

The bill text states:
On and after January 1, 2020, a retailer shall not sell or offer for sale, in the state, a single-use beverage container with a cap, unless the container meets one of the following conditions:

(a) The cap is tethered to the container in a manner that prevents the separation of the cap from the container when the cap is removed from the container.

(b) The cap includes an opening from which the beverage can be consumed while the cap is screwed onto or otherwise contiguously affixed to the container.

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Connect the Cap Toolkit

Take Action to Help Pass California’s AB 319!

Here’s what you can do!

  1. Share the AB 319 Fact Sheet.AB 319 Fact Sheet _Page_1
  2. Write a Letter of Support for the bill to your California State Assembly Member and California State Senator.
  3. Send a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper, or an OpEd, talking about why you think this bill is important.
  4. Ask your city council or mayor to pass a Resolution in support of AB319
  5. Make a Contribution to support Save the Albatross Coalition’s lobbying effort.

Leash The Lid House Parties

Leashed LidBottle caps are one of the most frequent items found at beach and watershed cleanups. Unfortunately, some of those that are not picked up get eaten by birds – such as the Albatross and other animals, who then die of starvation – with a belly full of plastic.

With the help of the Save The Albatross Coalition, Assembly Member Mark Stone (D, 29th Assembly District – Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties) has introduced Assembly Bill 319, which would prohibit retailers, by 2020, from selling beverages in bottles with a cap that is not tethered.

At the July 9 house parties, we will be launching our Indiegogo campaign to fund the coalition’s media and grassroots advocacy to the California Legislature. Join us July 9 in Alameda, Sebastopol, San Diego and Long Beach and help ignite the movement!

Additional details coming soon. RSVP via Facebook: 7/9 House Party Party or via the Contact Page.

Want to know how YOU can save the Albatross?

1) Call your California Legislator to let them know that you support AB 319 by Assembly Member Stone. The bill would require that plastic beverage container caps be attached to the bottle, or designed such that the beverage is consumed without removing the cap. This bill is up in its first Committee – Assembly Natural Resources next Monday, April 17, 2017 and needs all the help it can get! Photo by Chris Jordan.
2) Put the attached support letter on your organizational letterhead. AB 319 Sample Support letter
3) Share the attached images and handouts.  AB 319 Fact Sheet
 AB 319 Fact Sheet _Page_1

Dear Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé Waters

Download: Albatross Coalition Coca-Cola letter 2017 01 19

We are writing to you as co-chairs of Save the Albatross Coalition, a campaign of non-profit Zero Waste USA. Our mission is to prevent plastic discards from leading to the death of more than 200,000 Laysan Albatross chicks each year in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which was recently expanded to the entire Hawaiian Archipelago including Midway Atoll and Laysan Island.

We are especially interested in redesigning plastic bottle caps, which are some of most highly littered items impacting sea life. If you have not yet seen the photo of a deceased albatross with a belly full of plastic – including bottle caps, please visit our web site: https://albatrosscoalition.org/ or the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Laysan Albatrosses’ Plastic Problem page at: http://ocean.si.edu/slideshow/laysan-albatrosses%E2%80%99-plastic-problem.

In addition to killing wildlife, bottle caps are blight to our beaches, our parks and our neighborhoods. They are commonly found floating in rivers and streams flowing throughout this great country and around the world, which of course all ultimately lead to the ocean.

Though we would like to do away with the single use plastic bottle and cap, we understand that solution is not immediately feasible. Therefore, we propose a pragmatic measure that we think would be beneficial to all stakeholders – including plastics manufacturers, retailers and recyclers. Keep the lid leashed to the bottle! We understand that because the density of the plastics in the bottle and the cap are different and are easy to separate, plastic bottle recyclers support this simple redesign.

Our next steps are to take this important issue to the media and draft legislation. We invite Coca-Cola to join our effort and to initialize the redesign process.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. We look forward to your prompt reply.



Captain Charles C. Moore
Founder, Algalita Marine Research and Education
Long Beach, CA
Neil Seldman
President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Washington, D.C.

Dear President Obama

Download: Albatross Coalition President Obama Letter 2017 01 16

Dear President Obama,
Thank you for expanding the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument to the largest in the world and, at the September Our Oceans Conference, designating the first Atlantic Ocean Monument – the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. We, the Save The Albatross Coalition, were also pleased to hear you say that humanity is “…asking far too much of our ocean in asking it to adapt to us.”

You, also praised Midway Atoll restoration efforts, noting the island is now teeming with three million birds. In fact, Midway has the largest Laysan Albatross colony in the world. Unfortunately, these birds are threatened with extinction because of the unintended consequences of our discarded plastics. A two-year study funded by the EPA reported that of the 500,000 Albatross chicks born on Midway Atoll each year, 200,000 die, most from dehydration or starvation. Many in this group had twice as many plastic pieces in their stomachs as those that died from other causes. Although adults can regurgitate the plastic, chicks cannot.

In addition, an estimated 100,000 other marine animals, such as whales, seals, birds and turtles, die every year after becoming entangled in or ingesting plastic debris. According to a recent study, by 2050 the amount of plastic in the ocean is expected to outweigh the amount of fish, pound for pound.

The Midway Atoll Albatross chicks are our “canaries in the coal mine”. Because our nation is one of the highest contributors of ocean plastic, the USA must, as you said, share the “… sacrifices broadly and fairly and justly…” We believe the genius of our scientists and engineers, along with the creative ingenuity and wisdom of our citizens, can lead the way. But we must mobilize rapidly to solve this now ubiquitous problem.

Accordingly, we are calling for a multi-faceted, well-organized and coordinated federal, state and local plan employing common sense, practical solutions through legislation, regulation, policy changes and public education to result in a swift reduction of the plastic input into the ocean by 2020.

We propose that this plan employ the following strategies:  

  1. Waste minimization by consumers, businesses and the government including the avoidance of single use products;
  2. Leashed bottle caps and other extended producer responsibility (cradle to cradle) initiatives for polluting, hard-to-recycle and/or toxic products;
  3. Making single use plastics and polystyrene illegal to produce, sell and/or use in coastal states;
  4. Utilization of government, private and corporate funding of infrastructure – such as effective sewer grates and filter systems, water wheels and containment booms at river mouths and bays;
  5. Stepped up cleanup efforts in our sensitive river, stream and wetlands ecosystems, on our beaches and along our coastlines, in our protected waters and monuments such as Midway Atoll;
  6. Grants to study and implement solutions to the problem of land-borne plastics that make their way to the ocean, including studies of water treatment, for example, for the reduction of microplastics that go unimpeded from washing machines into the ocean, becoming part of the ocean food web;
  7. Expanded education of corporation, state and municipality officials; fisherman, boaters, consumers and children about plastic pollution and environmentally sound alternatives;
  8. Mandatory recyclability of plastics and warning labels on single use plastic bottles, where permitted, for example: “Danger: The Improper Disposal of this Bottle and Cap Harms Wildlife – Must be Recycled.
  9. Mandatory adequate and effective waste disposal containers and collection along all U.S. waterways and coastlines.

Again, we are sincerely grateful for your environmental leadership. We also appreciate your closing remarks at the Our Ocean Conference; namely, that we must “insist on human agency — to not give in to hopelessness, or to suggest that somehow these problems are just too big. We can solve them. We just have to have the will to pursue collective action.

We share in your belief that it will take a sincere and significant investment of time and money and heightened diligence by all people, corporations and governments in all countries and in all parts of the ocean. And we must start right now.

We look forward to discussing this with you and your staff. If you would like links to the studies above or any other references, please contact us at the emails below.



Captain Charles C. Moore
Founder, Algalita Marine Research and Education
Long Beach, CA
Neil Seldman
President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Washington, D.C.