Californians Against Waste (CAW), founded in 1977, is a non-profit environmental organization that “identifies, develops, promotes and monitors policy solutions to pollution and conservation problems posing a threat to public health and the environment. Californians Against Waste’s history has demonstrated it to be the nation’s oldest, largest and most effective non-profit environmental organization advocating for the implementation of waste reduction and recycling policies and programs.”

“The mission of Californians Against Waste is to conserve resources, prevent pollution and protect California’s environment through the development, promotion and implementation of waste reduction and recycling policies and programs.”

Here are some highlights of what the organization accomplished in 2017:

CAW Sponsored Law to Prohibit “Greenwashing”

The dictionary defines greenwashing as “disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.” Californians Against Waste sponsored a law prohibiting the use of the term “biodegradable” from being used in the marketing of plastic products get put into action.

“AB 1294 (Berman) Recycled Content Claims – SIGNED INTO LAW! This measure extends a requirement for manufacturers or suppliers of plastic products making claims related to the recycled content of a plastic product to maintain information and documentation to support that claim. Many environmentally conscious consumers often buy for products that claim to be “green”, and unfortunately there are companies who seek to take advantage of that without having a product that is truly green. Requiring companies to maintain this information helps protect California consumers from companies that aren’t truthful in their environmental claims.”

CAW Sponsored Laws to Reduce Food Waste

Californians Against Waste sponsored two bills designed to reducing food waste. Both bills were passed in the State Legislature and signed into law.

“AB 954 (Chiu) Food Waste Reduction – SIGNED INTO LAW! AB 954 is an important next step from last year’s CAW sponsored bill which addressed confusing food date labels. Confusing, misleading, and cryptic food labels lead many consumers and stores to throw out perfectly healthy food every day. Date labels on food come in a dizzying variety of forms including “use by,” “best before,” “sell by,” and “enjoy by” dates, yet these simple markers are both poorly understood and surprisingly under-regulated, such that their meanings and time frames are generally not defined.”

“AB 1219 (Eggman)  The CA Good Samaritan Food Donation Act – SIGNED INTO LAW! AB 1219 will strengthen the laws which protect food donors in order to maximize food donations. Currently many businesses, retailers, and restaurants are either not aware of laws which protect food donors or are confused with the current laws in place. Food is the single most prevalent item in the waste stream and at the same time we have a hunger crisis in the state which affects one in eight Californians, including one in four children. By making clarifications and strengthening particular provisions, we can help to get more food to those who need it and less food going into landfills. CAW is a co-sponsor of the bill along with the California Association of Food Banks.”

For more information about Californians Against Waste and the plans for 2018, visit