Come to the Fall Gathering, 10/21, 6:30pm


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
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

Status of NCRA Supported Bills, 2021

By Doug Brooms, ZWAC Co-Chair, 9/13/21
The California Legislative Session for 2021 has now adjourned, as of 9/10/21. All of the Bills that have successfully passed both the Assembly and Senate Floor votes are now at some stage of amendments being concurred in, then next sent to Engrossing and Enrolling, and then presented to the Governor’s Office.

Bills which NCRA support typically come via two sources. Historically, NCRA selects Bills of interest from CalRecycles Priority List to write letters of support, which last March had begun with over 80 proposed Bills. For the second consecutive year, NCRA has been a member organization of the Clean Seas Lobby Coalition (CSLC), under the guidance of EcoConsult. NCRA is a signatory to these group sign-on letters of support.

These following ten Bills which NCRA supports have successfully emerged from the 2021 Legislature:

Priority Bills of both the CSLC and CalRecycle (4)
AB 881 Gonzalez, Lorena D Plastic waste: diversion: recycling: export.
AB 962 Kamlager D California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act: reusable beverage containers.
AB 1276 Carrillo D Single-use food accessories and service ware.
SB 343 Allen D Environmental advertising: recycling symbol.

Priority Bills of the Clean Seas Lobby Coalition (2)
AB 818 Bloom D Solid waste: premoistened nonwoven disposable wipes.
AB 1200 Ting D Plant-based food packaging: cookware: hazardous chemicals.

Priority Bills of CalRecycle – NCRA Letters of Support (4)
AB 680 Burke D Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: California Jobs Plan Act of 2021
AB 1261 Burke D State Air Resources Board: greenhouse gas emissions: incentive programs.
SB 27 Skinner D Carbon sequestration: Natural and working lands: registry of projects.
SB 244 Archuleta D Lithium-ion batteries: illegal disposal: fire prevention.

Regrettably, there were eight other NCRA supported Bills entering August, that ultimately did not pass out of the Legislature:

Both CSLC and CalRecycle (2)
AB 478 Ting D Solid waste: thermoform containers: minimum recycled content.
AB 1201 Ting D Solid waste: plastic products: labeling: compostability and biodegradability

NCRA Letters of Support (5)
AB 284 Rivas, Robert D California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: climate goal: natural and working lands.
AB 501 Garcia, Cristina D Reduction of human remains and the disposition of reduced human remains.
AB 1086 Aguiar-Curry D Organic waste: implementation strategy.
SB 459 (Allen) Political Reform Act of 1974: Lobbying
SB 752 (Allen) Elections: Disclosure of Contributions

During the next several days, letters of support, previously addressed to Bill authors and to committee chairpersons, will be revised and addressed to Governor Newsom to urge his signature. Governor Newsom will have until October 10 to either veto or to sign Bills into law. Last year, Governor Newsom had signed into law a total of six Bills which NCRA had supported. This year, we’re entering with ten, with expectations of doing at least as well.


RU Postponed until March 2022!

On Thursday, August 19, after careful evaluation of all options, the NCRA Board decided not to hold Recycling Update on October 5. Instead we will host:

    • A virtual Membership Meeting the evening of October 21 with special guests and songs! Costumes welcome!
    • An outdoor networking event this Fall
    • The next Recycling Update in March 2022

We will be sending future notices with more specifics.  We have not yet determined whether RU in March 2022 will be in-person or virtual.

The decision to postpone RU was made for the following reasons:

    • COVID Delta variant cases are rising and in-person events may not be allowed this fall.
    • The RU Preferences Survey yielded mixed results as to whether or not members wanted an in-person indoor conference, especially if proof of vaccination and masks were required. We also believe the survey results would have been different if the survey had been conducted slightly later, after the increase in Delta variant cases and the re-establishment of some social distancing measures by health officials.
    • A desire to return to our normal March date for RU each year.

Please consider taking  part  in the National Recycling Congress – on November 3 and 4, and/or the National Zero Waste Conference – December 8 and 9. NCRA is a collaborating partner in both.

Thank you to the RU Program Committee for their hard work, to the confirmed Speakers for their flexibility and to the Board and Staff for making this challenging decision.

Thank you to the 168 people who responded to the RU preferences survey. It really helped clarify this decesion.

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

ZWAC Show and Recordings

Under construction… Being updated… Content accurate

Upcoming Meeting: Second Tuesdays of most months at 5:30pm via Zoom. Call in at 5pm for sharing. All are invited to attend. RSVP

(List date and time and topic if known. Place graphic here when ready.)

The NCRA Zero Waste Advocacy Committee has been hosting a monthly “ZWAC Show”, featuring a recycling or sustainability topic of contemporary interest and a brief reading about a Recycling Pioneer from the Recycling Archives. Check here for the schedule.

September 13  – What Happened in the Room?

During the 2021 Legislative session, ZWAC had hosted three monthly discussions about the Bottle Bill, however the leading Bills faltered, and a last ditch effort to rescue CRV bottle deposit redemption centers failed.

Jeff Donlevy of the Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling  and Business Development Manager at Recycling Industries, Inc, had been “in the room” throughout, and discussed the who, what and why, and what portends for next year.

Recycling Archives: Gerry Gillespie, a founding member of Zero Waste International Alliance, discussed how he played a key role in the first governmental adoption of a Zero Waste program in Australia.

August 10 – Advocacy for the Disenfranchised

Attorney Cynthia Chandler, featured in the documentary Belly of the Beast recounted her fight against State of California law and policy that began with Nazi-era eugenics that lead to our state prisons sterilizing women, mostly women of color, without their consent.

Nancy Gorrell, long time Berkeley activist, spoke about how she helped catalyze the reconfiguring of a holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus to one celebrating indigenous peoples.

Recycling Archives: Nancy went on to also discuss Berkeley’s landmark Styrofoam ban, and her zero waste artwork

July 13 –  Combating Plastics Pollution & Resource Recovery Businesses

Sumona Majumdar, general legal counsel to Earth Island Institute, discussed their newest lawsuit against plastic product makers like Coca-Cola, and how it differs from other anti-plastic campaigns which target misleading advertising about recyclability in plastic.

Panel Discussion Resource Recovery Businesses:

Neil Seldman of the Washington DC based Institute for Local Self-Reliance discussed his many years of research into the benefits of local resource recovery.

Three founder/owners of Bay Area resource recovery businesses each discussed their experiences, why and how they started their businesses, their market niches, how they impact zero waste and create jobs at the same time:

Stephanie Regni, Fillgood in Berkeley.

Nikki Kozlowski, Wisdom Supply.

Will Bakx, Sonoma Compost.

June 8, 2021
Three Ways that Zero Waste Can Save the Planet

Attorney Lori Mendez of the Save the Albatross Coalition discussed ongoing battles against plastic pollution.

Brenda Platt of the Institute for Local Self Reliance and directs ILSR’s Communities for Compost project, discussed advances in composting, soil policy, and carbon sequestration.

Monica Wilson, Policy and Research Coordinator of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, spoke about the continuing global problem of garbage incineration.

Recycling Archives: Brenda Platt

May 11, 2021
Action Items for a Revamped Bottle Bill

At the 4/13 meeting, there had been a strong consensus that ZWAC and NCRA should try to promote legislation to help CRV Bottle deposit redemption centers. However there was no bill in the current legislative session to achieve this. Discussed were essential features and strategies for a revised Bottle Bill, which would need a huge social media and community outreach component to succeed.

Recycling Archives: Delyn Kies, inspirational story of how she spearheaded environmental legislation in Oregon in the 1990s.

April 13, 2021
Should the Bottle Bill be Fixed or Scrapped and Why

Susan Collins, President of the Container Recycling Institute, and Richard Valle, Alameda County Supervisor and President of Tri-CED, each provided answers, insights and perspectives on pertinent Bill proposals.

Adolfo Ramirez, owner of BC Recycling Inc, with several buyback facilities serving the most disadvantaged populations in Visalia, described the shortcomings of the current and proposed Bottle Bill legislation.

Dr. Dan Knapp, President of Urban Ore Inc, discussed the sociology of recycling and why personal contact with redemption centers is such an important part of zero waste that cannot be served only by machines.

Recycling Archives: Susan Kinsella, Director of the Recycling Archives, read passages from the early transformative years the youthful Dr. Knapp.

# # #


Plastic Free July – What Actions Are You Taking?

Plastic Free July 2021 …
… to foster sustainable behavior change?
By Bonnie Betts, NCRA Social Media Coordinator

For folks passionate about Zero Waste, recycling and protecting Earth’s delicate ecosystems, Plastic Free July (PFJ) is a time to rally and learn about the movement to break free from plastic. We get to show our network that living without plastic can be done!

The initiative originated in Australia back in 2011, spearheaded by the Plastic Free Foundation. The vision of PFJ is to see a world free of plastic waste. Despite the turmoil and uncertainties of the pandemic, July of 2020 had an estimated 326 million people across the globe who took part in the challenge from 177 countries. Overall, PFJ participants have reduced their household waste by almost 5% per year, and 8.5 out of 10 people have permanently changed their behavior.

The PFJ challenge uses elements of Nudge Theory by Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein, and Community-Based Social Marketing by Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr (CBSM) to intentionally encourage sustainable behavior change. Both are based in social psychology and draw from the idea that sustainable behavior change is most effective when it involves direct contact with people, in their community. Most importantly, this method encourages that the desirable action (i.e. stop using plastic) be met positively, rather than discouraging harmful actions.

The point to having a PFJ challenge is to positively change people’s relationship with plastic in order to make more sustainable choices and ultimately stop the reliance on plastic all together. Here is a quick snap-shot of the social psychology elements at play:

Social Norming – Exemplifying the desired behavior for others to adopt:

This could look like shopping with reusable bags, bringing reusable utensils, containers when dining out, refusing straws and single-use to-go items, refilling your water bottle…

Restaurant owners can display a blurb – on their window, website or ads the percentage of customers who opt out of single-use to-go items (utensils, napkins, straws, etc.).

Social Diffusion – Quickly scale the desired behavior throughout your personal sphere:

Whatever the action is, utilize strength in numbers to get the message out. At the community level – This could look like having neighborhood green teams, compost-food scrap collection collective, Zero Waste champions at work or, local Zero Waste business collectives. Individuals can utilize social media to build awareness and share actions to their immediate networks.

Prompts – Visual or auditory reminders closest to the desired behavior:

In the community we see this most often with visually appealing receptacle signage. Restaurants can include prompts on their ordering menu to forgo single-use to-go items.

Incentives – Reward positive behavior, include promotions, gamify the challenges:

Business initiatives could strategically promote deals that encourage multiple sustainable actions like recycling + composting instead only recycling. Work teams and friends can take part in friendly competitions. Business, and community organizations can offer raffle prizes.

Convenience – Make doing the right thing easier, or the unsustainable action less convenient:

We have seen this with centralized receptacle stations. Green events can make reusables more appealing. Municipalities like the City of Berkeley, include single-use to-go item fees.

When it comes to fostering sustainable behavior change it is important to understand the underlying psychology that perpetuates our decisions.

What actions do I want people to take? What are the barriers? How can I overcome those barriers? These are important questions to ask.

Looking for Plastic Free July Challenge Resources?, based in Berkeley, has a great weekly step-by-step challenge and other great examples of what individuals can do in the home and community.

Also, the Berkeley Ecology Center has free stellar resources and events available throughout the month.

# # #