California’s coasts are about to get a little cleaner.

On Sept. 20, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two Environment California-backed bills to reduce plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean. The first puts in place a “straws on request” policy for dine-in restaurants; the second requires state facilities to recycle food packaging. Since this spring, Environment California has been building public support for our Wildlife Over Waste campaign to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans, streams and lakes.

“It is a very small step to make a customer who wants a plastic straw ask for it. And might make them pause and think again about an alternative,” said Gov. Brown in his signing statement. “But one thing is clear, we must find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic products.”

“If we’re going to use plastics, it’s up to all of us to use them sparingly and responsibly,” said Environment California State Director Dan Jacobson.

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Photo: A green sea turtle swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Credit: visualhunt via Wikipedia Commons