AB 619 Success!


For Immediate Release 

July 15, 2019 

Jen Kwart, jennifer.kwart@asm.ca.gov, 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/

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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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

[i]  https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/the-new-plastics-economy-rethinking-the-future-of-plastics

[ii] Based on 1989-2014 results. https://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/history.html. Caps were 9% of the items collected.

[iii] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/15092-plastic-seabirds-albatross-australia/

[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. http://www.sfei.org/projects/microplastic-pollution#sthash.oYf28jjj.TbWQfDQr.dpbs

[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)

[vii] http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/trash_control/

[viii] https://www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com/plastics-recycling/how-to-recycle/at-home/keep-your-top-on/ https://www.inabottle.it/en/news/recycling-plastic-bottles-now-its-better-cap

[ix] http://www.packagingdigest.com/closures/te-sports-closure-opens-with-push-of-button1611 and

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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.

California Coastal Commission

The Problem With Marine Debris

Marine debris is defined as “any manufactured or processed solid waste material that enters the marine environment from any source.” Debris is everywhere—found around every major body of water on the planet, and below water as well. Marine debris is a global pollution problem that impacts human health and safety, endangers wildlife and aquatic habitats, and costs local and national economies millions in wasted resources and lost revenues.

How Does Trash Become Marine Debris?

Many people assume that if trash exists in the ocean, it must be that the fishing and shipping industries are to blame. But in fact, only 20% of the items found in the ocean can be linked to ocean-based sources, like commercial fishing vessels, cargo ships (discharge of containers and garbage), or pleasure cruise ships.

The remainder (80%) is due to land-based sources, like litter (from pedestrians, motorists, beach visitors), industrial discharges (in the form of plastic pellets and powders), and garbage management (ill-fitting trash can lids, etc).

There is growing research about plastic debris too small to be caught by existing filters being discharged by water treatment systems. This debris may take the form of microbeads (added to some personal care products as exfolients) rinsed down drains, or synthetic fibers from clothing or other items that are laundered. A recent study of the San Francisco Bay found that eight waste water treatment plants discharged an average of 490,000 particles of microplastic per day into the Bay.

Take the Coastal Stewardship Pledge!

Get involved with coastal activities
Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page.

Learn about marine debris
Read about the effects of marine debris and how your everyday choices can either reduce or exacerbate the problem.

Learn about ocean acidification
Learn about what’s causing ocean acidification, why it’s a problem, and actions you can take to help.

Practice proper tide pooling etiquette
Did you know that there is a “correct” way to go tide pooling? You can follow some simple rules to keep yourself and the tide pool creatures safe and happy:

  • Watch where you step. Step only on bare rock or sand.
  • Don’t touch any living organisms. Most tide pool animals are protected by a coating of slime. Touching them with dry hands can damage these animals.
  • Don’t poke or prod tide pool animals with a stick. Don’t attempt to pry animals off of rocks.
  • Leave everything as you found it (or cleaner by picking up any garbage you come across). Collecting organisms will kill them and is illegal in most tide pools.

Safely observe wildlife
Read important information about observing coastal wildlife.

Choose your seafood wisely
Declining fish populations are an increasing problem in today’s fishing industry. If you are a seafood lover, find out how you can help manage our marine resources. Become an educated consumer and discover which fish species have healthy populations.

Learn about oil spills
Learn about the 2007 oil spill in San Francisco Bay, how oil spills harm the environment, and what you can do to help.

Practice clean and green boating habits
The Boating Clean and Green Program is an education and outreach program that promotes environmentally sound boating practices to marine business and boaters in California. The program is conducted by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission.

Help restore coastal habitat
The Coastal Commission’s Community-Based Habitat Restoration Program at Upper Newport Bay in Orange County has volunteer opportunities available weekly.

Learn more
Learn more ways to help the ocean on the Thank You Ocean website.

Support the Coastal Commission’s Public Education Program
Provide financial support for the Commission’s education programs and our Whale Tail Grants program with the following actions.