Plastic ocean debris the target of new Calif. bill

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It’s a common sight on the nation’s beaches: among the sand, sea foam and gnarled kelp lay plastic bottles, bags and other garbage.

Each year cleanup crews throughout the U.S. collect millions of pounds of plastic trash from beaches and coastal waterways, with the biggest numbers coming from California’s 1,100-mile coastline.

It’s a complex problem with no easy fix, but two California legislators have introduced an “extended producer responsibility” bill that would require manufacturers to figure out how to keep the most common plastic junk out of state waterways. The proposal, Assembly Bill 521, aims to reduce 95 percent of plastic pollution along the state’s coastline by 2024.

The bill faces a vote before the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday.

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