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California keeping plastic pollution out of the ocean

Gov. Jerry Brown signs “Straws on Request” law, prioritizes wildlife over waste
For Immediate Release

Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills designed to reduce plastic pollution flowing into the Pacific Ocean. AB 1884 would create a “straws on request” policy for dine-in restaurants in California and SB 1335 requires state facilities to recycle food packaging.

“Nothing we use for five minutes should end up polluting our environment for thousands of years,” said Dan Jacobson, Director of Environment California, one of Environment America’s state affiliates. “We thank the governor for recognizing that the time to take action on this persistent problem is now.”

The scourge of single-use plastics polluting our waterways, especially our oceans, has achieved increased notoriety in recent years, from sources as varied as the Monterey Bay Aquarium and National Geographic.

Gov. Brown took the unusual step of sending a signing statement about AB 1884, saying, in part,  “...our infatuation with single-use convenience has led to disastrous consequences. Ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine mammals every year… Plastics in all forms -- straws, bottles, packaging, bags, etc. -- are choking our planet.”

Environment California, Environment America and their sister organizations CALPIRG and U.S. PIRG thank the governor for this important move to minimize plastic’s damage.

“This is a great step in the right direction when it comes to plastic pollution, but more needs to be done. If we’re going to use plastics, it’s up to all of us to use them sparingly and responsibly as the government, businesses and regular Americans work together to solve this problem,” said Jacobson.