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Bill by Santa Monica Legislator to Tackle Plastic Microfiber Ocean Pollution Clears Key Committee
By Lookout Staff
April 10, 2018 – A bill requiring that all clothing made primarily of polyester include a label warning cleared a key committee in the California legislature Monday, said Santa Monica-area Assembly Member Richard Bloom.
AB 2379, authored by Bloom, would require all clothing made primarily of polyester to include a label warning of plastic microfiber shedding -- the most pervasive polluter of waterways and oceans --
It cleared the powerful Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 6-4 vote.
“Plastic microfibers are making their way from washing machines into our seafood and even into the water we drink,” said Bloom.
“Similar to climate change, the science is staring us in the face, waiting for us to act," the former Santa Monica mayor said. "If we don’t, the problem will only get worse.”
Researchers from University of California, Davis, sampled fish and shellfish sold at local California fish markets and found a quarter of fish and a third of shellfish contained plastic debris, most of it microfibers.
According to Californians Against Waste, a recent survey that compared 150 tap water samples from locations in five continents found microscopic plastic fibers in nearly every sample, with 94 percent of the United States water samples containing plastic microfibers.
This raises an important question about the human health consequences that plastic microfibers can have on people who unknowingly consume them, experts said.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s 2014 report on the future of plastics estimated that the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
“This bill will educate the public so that they can do their part in stemming this alarming environmental and public health discovery,” added Bloom.
Bloom also authored the 2015 landmark California plastic microbead ban that was eventually applied nationally a year later through federal legislation signed by President Obama.
The bill will now head to the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials.
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