Most Californians View Plastics and Marine Debris as a “Big Problem,” PPIC Survey Finds

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Most Californians (72%) say the coast has a “big problem” with litter from plastics and marine debris, according to new statewide survey by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released in July.

“Californians shouldn’t expect to see plastics littered along our streets, highways, waterways and beaches. But we do,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who this year authored Assembly Bill 1080 to put California at the forefront of reducing pollution from single-use packaging and products. “It’s time we find more sustainable ways to produce and recycle plastics and other products in California.”

AB 1080, along with its companion legislation Senate Bill 54 (Allen), establishes a comprehensive framework to address the pollution and waste crisis and sets a statewide goal for ensuring manufacturers reduce by 75% the waste generated by single-use packaging and products by 2030.

Specifically, the measure requires manufacturers and retailers to reduce unnecessary waste by improving the recyclability or composability of packaging, effectively all single-use packaging would be reusable, recyclable or compostable after 2030. AB 1080 also develops incentives and policies to encourage in-state manufacturing using recycled material generated in California, and requires CalRecycle to report to the Legislature every two years on its progress.

The PPIC statewide survey, titled Californians and the Environment, found strong majorities across demographic groups see plastics and marines debris as a “big problem.”

The perception is most prevalent among the African American (80%) and Latino communities (79%), followed by Asian Americans (72%) and whites (65%). Strong majorities across regions, including in the Central Valley (71%) and Inland Empire (69%), also view this pollution as a “big problem.”

You can read the entire survey here.

For questions on AB 1080 / SB 54 or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos (209) 658-7617.