Extend Producers' Resposibility to Reduce Plastic Pollution to Save Sea Turtles
The ocean is polluted by plastic waste from the growing use of disposable plastic items in our modern society. Single-use plastic bags, cups, straws, and most plastic items contain toxic chemicals. When they pollute the ocean they are ingested by sea turtles, whales, seabirds and fishes with harmful, and sometimes fatal, consequences.
California Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz) has introduced a bill, AB 521, to reduce plastic pollution by making producers of plastic products (particularly singe-use packaging) responsible for product design, recovery, collection, and recycling programs to prevent their item causing additional marine plastic pollution. This bill would create the Plastic Pollution Reduction Producer Responsibility Act, which would require California to adopt a statewide goal of reducing marine plastic pollution by 75% by 2020 and 95% by 2025. This action would effectively reduce the amount of plastic waste in California that could become litter in the ocean.
Pacific leatherback sea turtles are declining towards extinction and rely on clean, plastic-free feeding areas offshore of California for their continued survival. At their current rate of decline, they could be extinct in 20 years. Scientists have determined over 35% of leatherback sea turtles contain ingested plastic. The Pacific leatherback is now California's official marine reptile and was granted over 16,000 square miles of protected critical habitat offshore for feeding on jellyfish.
Californians have honored the leatherback sea turtle and must now take action to protect its critical habitat feeding area by supporting AB 521. Please take action below and share this call to action with friends, family, and all your contacts in California!
Not a California resident? Please click here to sign in support of California's plastic bag ban general petition, which will be delivered at strategic times to show nation-wide support.
The colorful info-graphic to the right supporting AB 521 was created by supporters with the National Resource Defense Council to educate and activate folks around this campaign. Click the image to expand it, print it, and share it!