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)

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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Suite of Bills – AB 319, Now AB 2779

AB 2779 (Stone/Calderon) – Connect the Cap

Plastic bottle caps and are the third most common item found at beach and river cleanups throughout the state.  Anywhere from 5 to 10 billion plastic bottle caps per year are not returned for recycling (i.e. littered or landfilled) in California. This bill will require all single-use plastic beverage bottles sold in California to have bottle caps connected to the bottles.  This simple solution already exists, is in use, and doesn’t require any additional costs or big changes for beverage manufacturers.

SB 1335 (Allen) – Sustainable Take out Food Packaging at Parks, Beaches, and State Facilities

This bill will help reduce plastic pollution in our oceans by requiring state parks, beaches, and other facilities to serve only sustainable food packaging. Specifically, under this measure the State will lead by example, ensuring that all disposable food service packaging provided at these locations is locally recyclable or compostable. This bill closes the resource loop by requiring that the disposable food packaging provided is actually recovered for recycling.

AB 2308 (Stone) – Cigarettes: single-use filters

The illegal litter of cigarette ‘filters’, commonly called cigarette butts, pollutes our environment, creates enormous costs to local governments and agencies tasked with cleaning up the waste, and poisons wildlife, domestic animals, and children that ingest them. The vast majority of cigarette butts are made from a non-biodegradable plastic called cellulose acetate. When one is discarded, it leaches thousands of chemicals, including 50 different carcinogenic toxins, into the water and soil and can take up to 10 years to decompose.  This bill will prohibit the sale, gift, or furnishing of cigarettes with single-use filters. Given that anti-litter campaigns and strict penalties have not resulted in the abatement of cigarette butt litter, this bill takes the cigarette butts completely out of the equation.

SB 835/836 (Glazer) – Smoking Ban – State Beaches & Parks

The consequences of smoking are immense on human health and the cost of healthcare to the state. Similarly, as the most littered thing on the planet and the #1 most highly found item at waterway and coastal cleanups, cigarette butts burden the state both financially and environmentally.  Containing more than 150 toxic chemicals, they have a negative impact California’s ecosystems.  These bills would prohibit the use of smoking products of any kind at state beaches and parks.

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.

Take Action – Leash the Lid!

Leashed Lid 50 CroppedA lot is happening here at the Save the Albatross Coalition! We now have an Indiegogo Campaign to help pay expenses, as well as a YouTube Video and Petition to let Coke and Pepsi know you want them to leash their lids! And here is a AB 319 Sample Letter of Support. Not sure who to send the letter to? Visit

By helping fund the Coalition you support plastic marine debris education and public outreach as well as specific legislation to require beverage producers and distributors to leash the lids to bottles to avoid further danger to all ocean creatures.


AB 319 Sample Support Letter

Click here to download the Sample Support letter in Microsoft Word.


The Honorable Assembly Member Stone
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0029

AB 319 (Stone) Bottle Cap Recycling —- Support

Dear Assembly Member Stone:
Our organization (insert name) thanks you for introducing AB 319 – a bill that requires all single use plastic beverage containers sold in California to have the bottle caps tethered to the bottle or the bottle designed such that the caps are not separable from the bottle. This bill is important because it will reduce street litter and plastics entering inland and coastal waters.

Unleashed bottle caps litter our communities and coast and contribute to the increasing plastic pollution problem in inland and ocean waters. A recent report by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if plastic litter reaching the world’s oceans is unabated, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by mass).[i]  Bottle caps contribute to this massive discharge of plastics from land-based sources. Bottle caps and lids are the #3 item found on California beaches during Coastal Cleanup Day.[ii]

Bottle caps kill seabirds either through ingestion that causes starvation or injury, when sharp edges of degraded plastic puncture internal organs.[iii] The Laysan Albatross, a California species, is a poster child for this problem – but 90% of all seabird species are impacted.[iv]

Plastic Debris threatens Human Health. Recent studies by the San Francisco Estuary Institute indicate that littered consumer plastics contribute to the increasing load of microplastics in the San Francisco Bay.[v] This likely happens in all waterbodies that receive urban runoff. Research demonstrates that plastic debris attracts pollutants from seawater, particularly persistent organic pollutants like PCBs and PAHs, and concentrates them on the surface. Research also shows that some fish sold in California markets have ingested plastic debris in their guts.[vi] Therefore, degraded plastics are polluting seafood consumed by people.

Taxpayers are footing the bill. All California municipalities must eliminate the discharge of trash to storm drains by 2022.[vii] The enormous costs associated with trash cleanup and capture are being borne by taxpayers.

Recyclers want the plastic and the technology exists to leash the lid. Many recyclers already have the technology to separate the various plastics (caps are typically polypropylene-PP- and bottles are polyethylene terephthalate-PET) after they are ground.[viii] The PP bottle caps have value. Many variations of tethered or integrated caps already exist.[ix]

Our members support AB 319 and thank you for introducing this important measure.


Your Organization


[ii] Based on 1989-2014 results. Caps were 9% of the items collected.


[iv] Wilcox, Chris et al, Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Vol 112, No 36, 11896-11904.

[v] The SF Estuary Institute and Regional Monitoring Program found billions of pieces of micro-plastics in the SF Bay, much of it resulting from breakdown of bottles, bottle caps, and other macro-plastic products.

[vi] 67% of the seafood sampled from California vendors had plastic in their guts – Rochman, Chelsea, et al, Anthropogenic debris in seafood: Plastic debris and fibers from textiles in fish and bivalves sold for human consumption, Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 14340 (2015)



[ix] and

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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: or the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Laysan Albatrosses’ Plastic Problem page at:

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.