Wildlife over online shopping waste

Today Environment California testified in support of AB 2026 to phase out unnecessary plastic packaging from online shopping.

Good afternoon Mr Chair and committee members, my name is Laura Deehan and I’m the state director for Environment California. We’re a statewide environmental organization working for clean air, clean water and a livable planet.

We’re pleased to co-sponsor AB 2026, along with Oceana and CALPIRG. This important legislation will help address the global plastics crisis by phasing out the unnecessary and unacceptable amount of single-use plastic used to ship online purchases in and into California.

It’s estimated that two dump truck’s worth of plastic end up in our environment every minute.

We now know that plastic does not just ‘go away’, instead  it breaks up into smaller pieces that  have been discovered in every corner of the globe – littering our streets, polluting the ocean, and harming wildlife.  Microplastics have even been found inside our food and beverages, potentially exposing us to hazardous compounds and additives.

Plastic packaging added to online purchases during shipment – including plastic mailing envelopes, air pillows, bubble wrap, and expanded polystyrene –are a substantial contributor to the crisis.

Almost all this plastic packaging is  discarded immediately after a package is opened and is neither reused nor recycled. This plastic instead ends up in landfills, gets burned, or flows into waterways, where it can persist as a pollutant for generations.
 
Especially with the recent dramatic growth of online shopping, consumers want alternative packaging that doesn’t pollute our environment, harm public health, or cost community resources cleaning up. 

AB 2026 is an important and urgent bill aimed at addressing this problematic waste stream. Spare birds, fish, marine mammals and other wildlife from the harm caused by unnecessary plastic pollution. We thank Assemblymember Friedman for her leadership and Mr. Chair and Asm. Kalra for co-authoring, and urge your aye vote.

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Laura Deehan

State Director, Environment California

Laura directs Environment California's work to tackle global warming, protect the ocean and fight for clean air, clean water, open spaces and a livable planet. Laura stepped into the State Director role in January, 2021 and has been on staff for over twenty years. She has led campaigns to make sure California goes big on offshore wind and to get lead out of school drinking water. As the Environment California Field Director, she worked to get California to go solar, ban single use plastic grocery bags and get on track for 100% clean energy. Laura lives with her family in Richmond, California where she enjoys hiking, yoga and baking.

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