Environment California is knocking on doors across the state to take on the waste that’s killing our wildlife

For Immediate Release

Los Angeles -- Environment California is deploying hundreds of door-knockers this summer in towns across the state to help educate Californians about the plastic waste that is killing our wildlife.

“Nothing that we use for a couple of minutes should pollute the oceans for centuries,” said Dan Jacobson, director of Environment California.

Polystyrene -- the stuff we call styrofoam -- is one of the worst kinds of plastic waste, often used for cups and food containers. Americans throw away an estimated 70 million polystyrene cups every day. Picture this: if we stacked all those cups, it would take less than two months to reach the moon, and less than 5 days to go around the Earth. About a third of that plastic waste ends up in our rivers, lakes and oceans. Plastics don’t biodegrade, which means they remain intact or break down into smaller pieces. Plastic fragments have been found ingested by literally hundreds of species, including 86 percent of all sea turtles and almost half of all seabird and marine mammal species.

“We’ve all seen the remnants of the polystyrene cup -- those small, tiny beads of plastic that are almost impossible to contain in garbage cans,” Jacobson continued. “We should not be putting our turtles and whales at risk for a cup that lasts two minutes.”

Across the country, plastic foam bans have passed in more than 200 cities and other communities, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. Some companies are also leading the way. By the end of this year, McDonald’s will phase out foam cups and containers worldwide, in favor of 100 percent recycled materials.

Environment California is advocating for a statewide ban on polystyrene containers from restaurants to help protect our waterways and our wildlife.