About

5 Stars: Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition & NCRA 2021

By Doug Brooms, Board Member & Co-Chair Zero Waste Advocacy Committee

In the NCRA eNews October edition, it was reported that Governor Newsom had passed 13 of 14 Bills which NCRA supported. This had been a greater number of NCRA supported Bills passed than in any prior Legislative Session, dating back to 2013. This had been remarkable, given the pale imposed by Covid-19.

Of these 13 Bills, 7 had been presented as a package of Circular Economy Bills, and “wrangled” through the Legislature under the auspices of EcoConsult and the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition (CSLC).

2021 is the second year that NCRA has been a subscribing member of the CSLC, along with ten other notable state and national environmental advocacy organizations. CSLC is a sponsor of two Bills, AB 962 and AB 1276.

EcoConsult is one of a small cadre of environmental lobby firms, and far out numbered and out spent by industry lobbyists who represent businesses more committed to preserving the status quo. Genevieve Abedon has been our voice at the table in Sacramento, “waste deep in sausage making”, in negotiating with industry advocates towards reaching Bill language compromises. Every two weeks via Zoom, she kept CSLC members engaged and apprised on usually confidential deliberations with stakeholders to remove or avert oppositions. CSLC members also contributed to shaping state Bills language, based upon their ongoing experiences with newly minted pertinent city and county ordinances.

Perhaps as testament to the Coalition’s strategy effectiveness, each of the following first four numbered Bills had ultimately “sailed” through the Assembly and Senate Floors without any “NO” votes, and the subsequent 3 Bills with relatively minor oppositions. The below numbers in parentheses are Senate and Assembly Floor Votes, AYES and NOES respectively, not including the Abstentions (No Vote Recorded).

AB 818  Premoistened Nonwoven Disposable Wipes. (39-0, 76-0)

Provides standardized labeling for single-use wet wipes to clearly identify what products are NOT safe to flush.

AB 881  Plastic Waste: Diversion: Recycling: Export. (37-0, 78-0)

Prohibits mixed plastic exports from being counted as “recycled” towards state waste reduction and recycling metrics.

AB 962  Reusable Beverage Containers. (38-0, 77-0)

Allows returnable glass beverage bottles to be cleaned and refilled, versus being crushed to count as recycled.

AB 1200  Plant-based Food Packaging & Cookware: Hazardous Chemicals. (36-0, 60-0)

Prohibits the sale of paper-based food packaging containing PFAS, and prohibits deceptive advertising to avoid disclosure of such toxic chemicals in cookware.

AB 1201  Plastic Products Labeling: Compostability and Biodegradability. (32-2, 79-0)

Prohibits any plastic products containing PFAS from being deceptively labeled as compostable or biodegradable.

AB 1276  Single-use Foodware Accessories and Condiments. (28-10, 58-15)

Provides that single-use foodware and condiments may be given to takeout customers ONLY upon request.

SB 343  Environmental Advertising: Recycling Symbol. (29-7, 50-3)

Will disallow manufacturers from imprinting the “chasing arrows” recycling symbol on plastic items that aren’t actually recyclable.

From my perspective, NCRA’s teaming with CSLC and EcoConsult has been a welcomed relationship. There had been only one instance in which NCRA support had not aligned with AB 1454. Thus, leaving the grunt work to the experts has allowed me more time to attend to CalRecycle’s Priority Bills and to pursue other proposals. Based upon my observations and evaluation, I would rate EcoConsult 5 Stars. Having a proven champion for the environment, for a relatively modest investment, helps to level the playing field in achieving pro-sustainability legislative outcomes.

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EXTENDED: Election 2021 – Nominate Yourself To Serve On The NCRA Board! 

DEADLINE EXTENDED: NOMINATE YOURSELF TO SERVE ON THE 2022-23 NCRA BOARD! 

NCRA has been a Recycling and Zero Waste trailblazer since it inception in 1978 and we are still out front. You can help develop the cutting edge by applying to serve on the 11-person Board of Directors!

Six board positions will be open this January. Three incumbents are running again. It’s a two-year working post. Attendance at all or most of our ten meetings a year is required, as is between-meetings work on at least one standing committee as well as one Recycling Update committee. Currently we meet via Zoom on the third Thursday of the month. (Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings moved around the greater Bay Area – sometimes in conjunction with tours. Phone participation was possible at many locations.)

Directors discuss issues, hold debates and influence regional and national recycling strategy. Such as:

      • Track and comment on legislation
      • Tour facilities and talk business with operators
      • Engage regional and national industry leaders
      • Work on behalf of colleagues who need a boost
      • Tackle issues that can’t be ignored
      • Hold events and webinars on important topics

Benefits include helping NCRA protect and rejuvenate the environment and promote a waste free economy, as well as free entrance to all NCRA events. Looks good on your resume too!

To nominate yourself, submit a campaign statement of 210 words or less via our Contact page, on or before Wednesday, November 24 at 11:59pm. Introduce yourself, note how long you have been a NCRA member, what committees you are on and tell members why they should consider voting for you. Be sure to read the previous statements beforehand.

The Election begins Monday, November 29 and ends Monday, December 13 at 11:59pm.

If your NCRA membership has expired or will soon, please log-in to renew ASAP! This ensures you will continue to receive the NCRA News and discounts on NCRA events. Your membership helps support NCRA’s advocacy and education efforts throughout the year. Because we did not receive the usual membership renewals around RU this year, NCRA’s membership and funds have been diminished.

 

Come to the Fall Gathering

RECYCLING UPDATE 2021
POSTPONED TO MARCH 2022!

Come to the 10/21 Zooooom Membership Meeting instead!

S P E C I A L   M E M B E R S H I P   M E E T I N G
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21
6:30 – 8:30PM
With special guests and songs!
Costumes welcome!

Contact the office for the Zoom Invite!
All welcome! Do not need to be a member to attend!

Membership expired or expiring soon? Renew here!

Proposed Agenda

6:30pm          Introductions
7:00pm          Legislative Update
7:10pm          Zero Waste Schools Committee update plus Speaker
7:25pm          Sing-along!
7:45pm          Zero Food Waste Committee update plus David Hott, Director Of Operations, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen, San Jose CA
8:00pm          Open Discussion