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This blog is primarily geared toward staff at the zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs), and other conservation education organizations that are part of our growing global network. We aim to provide you with cutting edge, challenging, and creative information, ideas, and tools to become as effective as possible at communicating about and for conservation with your visitors and the public.

See our ongoing communications research, or join our growing network, at The Ocean Project's website.

August 6, 2012

California: 25 days to rise above plastics!

California has until August 31st to pass two groundbreaking pieces of legislation: a plastic bag ban, and a phase-out of all foam take-out containers.

How can I help?

If you’re a resident of California, the most important way you can help is to contact your assembly members and senators directly and tell them to vote YES on SB 568 and AB 298. It takes only a few minutes to make your voice heard with a phone call or email. Your representatives are how you can make your voice heard, so speak up! These links from Surfrider walk you through it, and even give you tips about what to say in a phone call:

Not a California resident? You can still help. Click here to sign the petition!

Did you know? 

The average single-use bag is used 12 minutes before being released as pollution in the environment or waste into the landfill. Less than 5% of plastic bags are actually recycled. Californians use an estimated 12 billion plastic bags a year; before the L.A. County bag ban took effect in 2011, each resident consumed approximately 433 single-use plastic bags per year! 

Ninety percent (!) of the polystyrene foam used in the US is thrown into landfills or ends up in the ocean-its light weight and buoyancy allows it to spread widely. As a plastic product, the foam doesn’t degrade and it wreaks havoc on the wildlife it comes into contact with.

Why the bans? They work! It’s a simple, common sense solution to a growing problem. The best part? There’s no downside. Click here for success stories.

The bills

Assembly Bill 298 - Plastic Bag Ban and SB 568 - Statewide Phase Out of Polystyrene Foam Food Take-Out Containers.

Deadline: August 31st, 2012.


  1. get Plastic Bags OUT of Nature...OFF our highways...OUT OF OUR OCEANS!!
    DO IT NOW!!

  2. This is a historic opportunity for California to reclaim its position as the leading state protector of our environment. We need Californians to show us the way on these matters. It is despicable how the wacko right wingers are trying to spin this as an economic/jobs issue. Their rhetoric has ridiculous claims such as "the plastic bag industry employs 30,000 hard-working Americans who would lose their job if this ban goes into effect." However, when you call the lobbyists trumpeting this nonsense and ask them to support their claim with ANY data or facts, they literally start swearing at you and then hang-up. Is this what it's come to? How can anyone be opposed to this legislation? It is a thoroughly good thing! My fingers are crossed!

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