Work to Reduce Marine Debris & Trash
Last year’s Coastal Cleanup Day engaged more than 71 thousand volunteers who collected over 1.3 million pounds of trash from California beaches, lakes, and waterways. However, even with the thousands of hard-working Coastal Cleanup volunteers, that alone cannot end the growing problem of plastic pollution. California’s laws and policies need to better address the sources of trash, and control the discharge of trash into our waterways.
This year, lawmakers and conservation groups worked together on banning plastic bags (AB 298) and polystyrene food packaging (SB 568). While both bills enjoyed widespread support from the business community, the environmental community, and local governments, the bills were defeated in the final hour by special interest groups. Even without statewide bans, over 100 California jurisdictions have adopted or are considering a single-use bag ban, and 63 California jurisdictions have banned foam take-out food packaging. The State Water Board is also developing a Statewide Policy for Trash Control that will identify trash as a pollutant and establish methods to reduce trash in California’s waterways. CCKA is working with the State Board to adopt an effective Trash Policy as a member of the Public Advisory Group.