Good afternoon Madam Chair and Members, my name is Jenn Engstrom and I’m the state director for CALPIRG. We’re a consumer advocacy organization with thousands of members across the state and student chapters at the UCs.
We’re pleased to co-sponsor AB 2026, along with Oceana and Environment California. This important legislation will help address the global plastics crisis by phasing out the unnecessary and unacceptable amount of single-use plastic used to ship online purchases in and into California.
It’s estimated that two dump truck’s worth of plastic ends up in our environment every minute.
Most plastic does not go away, instead it breaks up into smaller pieces that have been discovered in every corner of the globe – littering our streets, polluting the ocean, and harming wildlife. Microplastics have even been found inside our food and beverages, potentially exposing us to hazardous compounds and additives.
Plastic packaging added to online purchases during shipment – including plastic mailing envelopes, air pillows, bubble wrap, and expanded polystyrene –are a substantial contributor to the crisis.
Almost all this plastic packaging is discarded immediately after a package is opened and is neither reused nor recycled. This plastic instead becomes landfilled, burned, or enters our environment, where it can persist as a pollutant for generations.
Especially with the growth of online shopping, we know consumers want alternative packaging that doesn’t pollute our environment, harm public health, or cost community resources cleaning up.
AB 2026 is an important and urgent bill aimed at addressing this problematic waste stream. We thank Assemblymember Friedman for her leadership and Assemblymember Stone for co-authoring, and urge your aye vote.
State Director, CALPIRG
Jenn directs CALPIRG’s advocacy efforts, and is a leading voice in Sacramento and across the state on protecting public health, consumer protections and defending our democracy. Jenn has served on the CALPIRG board for the past two years before stepping into her current role. Most recently, as the deputy national director for the Student PIRGs, she helped run our national effort to mobilize hundreds of thousands of students to vote. She led CALPIRG’s organizing team for years and managed our citizen outreach offices across the state, running campaigns to ban single-use plastic bags, stop the overuse of antibiotics, and go 100% renewable energy. Jenn lives in Los Angeles, where she enjoys spending time at the beach and visiting the many amazing restaurants in her city.