Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our future for hundreds of years.
Every day, people throw away tons of plastic “stuff”—cups, plates, bags, containers, forks, knives, spoons and more. All of this waste not only clogs our landfills, trashes our parks, and litters our streets, but it also washes into our rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife.
Recycling certainly can help mitigate the problem. But unfortunately, of the millions of tons of plastic we produce every year, most is currently not recyclable, and we produce vastly more waste than our recycling infrastructure can handle. As a society, we need to stop creating enormous quantities of unnecessary waste in the first place, rather than focus only on recycling and re-using waste after the fact.
The good news is that we have lots of alternatives to single-use plastic items would prevent needless harm to the environment.
It’s Time To Stop Trashing Our Future
We’re calling for campus, city, and statewide bans on single use plastic products, including straws and take-out foam cups and containers.
In recent years, we have had a number of victories to ban unnecessary single-use plastics:
- We helped pass the first ever statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags here in California, and we defended that measure at the ballot box when the plastics industry tried to repeal it.
- We got the University of California system to commit to phasing out non essential single-use plastics by 2030.
- We helped pass a landmark statewide plastic pollution reduction bill in 2022, which holds plastic polluters accountable.
- We won a ban on polystyrene foam in Los Angeles and San Diego.