Approximately 19 billion plastic bags are distributed annually in California, and a huge percentage of them end up in the ocean, creeks, and Humboldt Bay, harming wildlife and impacting water quality.

Help stop this enormous source of urban and marine litter pollution by supporting proposed state legislation: AB 1998 (Brownley) and AB 2138 (Chesbro).

AB 1998, sponsored by Assemblymember Brownley (D-Santa Monica) would reduce dangerous plastic bag litter pollution by banning single use carry out plastic bags at large retail outlets effective January 1, 2012. Plastic bags are a primary component of urban litter, and the primary component of marine litter pollution. As ‘compostable’ plastic carryout bags have not been found to breakdown in the marine environment, they would also be prohibited. Reusable bags that are usable/washable at least 100 times would be exempt.

UPDATE: AB 1998 failed in the State Senate, 14-21, after the American Chemistry Council pumped millions dollars into radio and tv ads opposing the bill, as well as into the coffers of elected officials.

AB 2138, sponsored by Assemblymember Chesbro (D-Arcata) would prohibit food providers from distributing single-use food packaging and bags unless they are accepted for either recycling or composting in at least 75% of households in a jurisdiction and are recovered at a rate of at least 25%. This policy requires the fast food sector be financially responsible by switching to packaging that is compatible with recycling and/or composting services available in the communities they serve and work with consumers to ensure that packaging is recycled or composted.

Take Action:
Californians Against Waste provides an easy way for you to electronically send letters of support for AB 1998 and AB 2138.

Contact Assemblymember Chesbro and ask him to support AB 1998.
Phone (707) 445-7104 Fax # (707) 445-6607

Ask State Senator Wiggins to introduce similar legislation in the State Senate.
710 E Street, #150
Eureka, CA 95501
Phone (707) 445-6508 Fax (707) 445-6511

Urge Governor Schwarzenegger to sign these bills.
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone (916) 445-2841 Fax (916) 558-3160
Contact friends in other Assembly districts to ask their legislator to support AB
2138 and AB 1998.

Thanks to the City of Arcata Environmental Services Department for putting this action alert together on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2010.