The BYO Bill & More: The Fight Against Plastics
Updated: Sep 20
by Josephine Martensson and Donna Staton
The California Assembly is packed with bills for eliminating single-use plastics.
The first is Assembly Bill No. 619 (AB 619), AKA the “Bring Your Own” bill is good news for the fight against single-use plastics!
AB 619 went into effect January 1st, 2020. This law amends sections of the California Health and Safety Code, and clarifies existing sections, to make it easier for consumers to use their own containers at restaurants when buying food “to go” or taking home meal leftovers.
The containers used must be in compliance with Section 3-304.17(B)(1) of the 2017 Food Code published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But fear not, it is simpler than it sounds! It just means that your containers must be clean and designed for, and capable of, reuse. This applies both to dine-in restaurants and vendors at concerts, festivals, and other events. You can also bring your own reusable container to grocery stores (bulk items, deli items) which choose to allow this.
Ways You Can Help:
Take advantage! Bring your own containers, bring your own reusable items, and use them when you carry out food.
Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about AB619 and encourage them to “bring their own” too.
Next time you eat out, don’t forget to grab your reusable water bottle and straw, utensils, and food storage containers!
Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080: Tackling single-use plastics in a BIG way.
In 2019, the California legislature adjourned before voting on Senate Bill 54 (SB 54) and Assembly Bill 1080 (AB 1080).
These bills, known as the California Circular Economy and Pollution Reduction Act, would require that 75% of single-use packaging of consumer products and foodware sold in the state be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2030.
The bills will come back to the Senate and Assembly floor of this session. To end our reliance on single-use items, which have disastrous effects on the environment, please share your concerns with our state legislators and representatives and let them know that you want their support in reducing single-use plastics. Want to do even more? Take action on SB 54 and AB 1080 here.