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In California, Removable Plastic Bottle Caps Could Become A Thing Of the Past

Mr.TinDC / Flickr
 

Mr.TinDC / Flickr

Removable plastic bottle caps could become a relic of the past if a bill inching its way through the California legislature becomes law.

Assembly Bill 319 -- which passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee Monday -- would require all single-use plastic bottles in the state to have an attached cap by 2020.

“California has invested so much time and money in a process to make sure that plastic bottles get recycled instead of going into landfills or becoming litter,” Assemblymember Mark Stone said in a press release Monday. “That’s why it’s so incredible that we still haven’t changed the law to make sure that the bottle caps get recycled as well.  My bill to require attached caps finally accomplishes this goal.”

Plastic bottle caps are among the most littered items found during beach clean-ups. That’s why Assemblymember Stone teamed up with Californians Against Waste to require all single-use plastic bottles to have a cap tethered to them by 2020.

Kelly McBee, policy analyst with the group, says bottle caps can kill ocean life.

“We’ve found significant deaths among seabirds usually from starvation and we find a lot of plastic in their bellies, and a lot of that is bottle cap plastic,” says McBee. “If we can completely eliminate one of the top three items found polluting our beaches, hopefully we’ll have increased tourism, decreased cleanup costs, and just increased enjoyment among people that go to beaches.”

Groups like McBee’s say the fix will be an easy one for manufacturers, but the beverage industry is lobbying against the bill saying the technology is not ready industry wide. Although, Crystal Geyser has already switched over to attached caps.

The bill now heads to the Assembly floor.  

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