California Senate Bill (SB) 568, introduced to help prevent foam litter in the marine environment, passed the CA State Senate in May and is headed to the State Assembly soon! Surfrider Foundation is a co-sponsor of this bill along with Clean Water Action and a big reason that this bill was able to make it through the State Senate was because of grassroots efforts from volunteers and supporters just like you!
What’s It Do?
SB 568 would prohibit a food vendor or restaurant from dispensing prepared food to a customer in a polystyrene foam food container starting in 2015. The compliance date for public schools would be one year later. The bill would also allow a city or school district that has a verifiable recycling program and recycles more than 60% of its foam foodware to continue to dispense food in foam after the ban goes in effect.
Why does it matter?
Expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) is pervasive in the marine environment and like most plastics, polystyrene is lightweight and floats. When littered, it can be carried from streets and through storm drains out to the ocean. 60-80 percent of all marine debris and 90 percent of floating debris are plastic. In the environment, the containers break down into smaller and smaller pieces and are easily mistaken for food by marine animals. On top of the plastic pollution issues, styrene was recently added to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services list of substances anticipated to cause cancer in humans.
How you can help:
1) Sign Surfrider’s online action alert which is updated for the State Assembly now.
2) Print out the petition and get signatures to help show support in your local community.
3) Follow Yes on SB 568 on facebook and suggest it to your friends!
4) Documenting foam litter that you see. More evidence is always helpful, you can email photos and stories to Surfrider Humboldt.