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SANTA BARBARA, Calif (June 20, 2024) – Plastic is everywhere – more than 10 million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year, and the United States is one of the top contributors to plastic pollution.  In addition, fossil fuel extraction and manufacturing of plastics disproportionately impacts the health of low income communities and communities of color while exacerbating the climate crisis. This summer, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) and its partners are hosting several events focused on building awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution and how we can take steps to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.

“For the health of our planet and its inhabitants , we need to radically reduce the amount of plastics entering the environment and our bodies,” said Kathi King, Director of Climate Education & Leadership at CEC. “Sustainable solutions are still a privilege, and in order to shift away from our current model of excessive plastic consumption, we need inclusive solutions that effectively reduce production and encourage reuse. We encourage the entire community to engage in CEC’s upcoming events to learn more and be part of the solution to tackling the plastic pollution crisis.”

On Thursday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. CEC and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper will present the third annual Plastic-Free Expo, held at CEC’s Environmental Hub at 1219 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. This in-person event features over a dozen local organizations, businesses, and government agencies offering information and resources for eliminating plastic and making sustainable choices. Activities for all ages will be offered, with chances to win exciting plastic-free prizes. Each attendee will take home a copy of the  Bluedot Living Santa Barbara Green Guide, a new sustainable living publication featuring climate news and solutions, presented by the Santa Barbara Independent. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited, so RSVPs are strongly encouraged.

Then in July, CEC will host two  free webinars, The Plastic Crisis: Science and Solutions, with Alejandra Warren (CEC’s 2024 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival Environmental Hero) and Dr. Matt Warren, founders of Plastic Free Future. These webinars will explore the science behind the plastic crisis and  discuss solutions that can lead us to a healthier, cleaner, and plastic-free future. The English webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 16 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., learn more and register here. The Spanish webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 30 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., learn more and register here.

California communities alone spend more than $428 million annually to clean up and manage plastic pollution. Fortunately, the State of California has become a leader in preventing ocean plastic pollution by passing bans on single-use plastics and stricter requirements for plastic producers.

CEC leads the Central Coast region in advocating for local policy change, including the recent laws in Goleta and Carpinteria that limit plastic take-out accessories, establish guidelines for reusable dine-in foodware, and ban mylar balloons. Starting in 2010, CEC led the effort to install  public water stations throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Because of their efforts, there are 125 bottle-filling hydration stations in schools, libraries, parks, and public spaces—saving over seven and a half million single-use plastic bottles from reaching landfills.

About the Community Environmental Council (CEC) 

CEC advances rapid and equitable solutions to the climate crisis – including ambitious zero carbon goals, drawdown of excess carbon, and protection against the impacts of climate change. CEC was recognized as a 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year and a City of Santa Barbara Climate Hero, and is led by CEO Sigrid Wright who was recently named 2022 Congressional Woman of the Year. CEC has worked since 1970 to incubate and innovate real life environmental solutions that directly affect the California Central Coast. Our programs lead to clean vehicles, solar energy, resilient food systems and reduction of single-use plastic. Learn more about the work of CEC and why it receives high ratings from both Charity Navigator and Guidestar at

Find CEC on the web at and on,, and

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