Plastic Pollution

Recycling bills would help stem the flow of plastic into the ocean – CALmatters

In summary

AB 1080 and SB 54 present bold and ambitious solutions that would address plastic pollution.

By Mike Sweeney and

Mike Sweeney is executive director of the California Chapter of The Nature Conservancy,

Margaret Spring, Special to CalMatters

Margaret Spring is chief conservation and science officer for Monterey Bay Aquarium,

California is in a state of emergency. The list of threats seems endless: unprecedented wildfires driven by climate change, economic and public health uncertainty associated with the novel coronavirus, and the stark realities of racial injustice. Add to these concerns, the long-ignored plastic pollution crisis in the waters off California and around the globe. 

Many of us, as Californians, are grappling with what kind of state and world we are leaving for future generations.

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If we hope to bring about change, we must deal with multiple crises simultaneously. Our legislators can take immediate action to stem the flow of plastic into California’s oceans. Right now, they can advance effective and ambitious solutions to address plastic pollution by passing Assembly Bill 1080, introduced by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, and Senate Bill 54, introduced by Sen. Ben Allen, a Democrat from Santa