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By John Moore, ZWAC Co-Chair
Every month, Northern California Recycling Association’s Zero Waste Advocacy Committee Show highlights cutting edge people and topics about recovering resources and saving the planet.
On December 14th, starting at 5:30pm PT we will first have a reading from the Recycling Archives of one of California’s true recycling founders, Rick Anthony of Zero Waste San Diego. Rick will be on hand to answer questions.
Then we will ask, “What’s the potential for fungi to turn waste into resources and nurture the soil to help climate change?” We’ll throw in a little geologic history along the way.
65 million years ago an asteroid destroyed most of the living world. But not all. Filling the void to compost the rotting carbon, pull pollutants from the air, build the soil and nurture the greenscape that makes Earth habitable today, was Fungi. To get the full picture of the potential of fungi, we will first watch a 2008 TED talk by Paul Stamets, who wrote the groundbreaking Mycellium Running in 2005.
In the 2008 TED talk, Stamets, who is not a trained scientist, discussed the then-current use of fungi to remediate oil spills, and touted the potential of fungi to cure viruses (!!), sequester carbon, and process plastic litter. He also spoke of his desire to patent certain fungi. After the TED talk I will interview Joanne Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Mycocyle of Bolingbrook, Illinois, and discuss how much of Stamets’ technological hope has come to fruition in the last 13 years, and the current state of mycoremediation as a technology and as a business. I hope you can join us!
5pm – Cocktails and sharing- a NCRA tradition
5:30pm sharp – Recycling Archives reading with Rick Anthony
6ish – TED talk of Paul Stamets
6:20ish – Interview with Joanne Rodriguez of Mycocycle
7ish – Open Forum
Dec 14, 2021 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 875 1518 2993 Passcode: 950560
One tap mobile: +16699006833,,87515182993#,,,,*950560# US (San Jose)
Dial by your location: +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/krfF4IGVQ
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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.
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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