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Morning Brief: Plastic Ban, Certified Election Results, Hacking LAX

Plastic bottles lie in the foreground with the Hollywood sign behind.
With AFP Story by Michael THURSTON: US-environment-technology-tourism Empty water bottles litter the ground at a popular Hollywood sign viewing area in the residential Hollywood Hills section of Hollywood, California, September 21, 2011. Travelers have long flocked to have their pictures taken with the vast sign behind them -- but with the advent of satellite navigation and Google Earth, they have begun to invade the Hollywood Hills neighborhood like never before. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo by Robyn BECK / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
(Robyn Beck
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Wednesday, July 6.

I wouldn’t blame you for missing this, given all the OTHER big news going on. BUT just before the holiday weekend, California passed a comprehensive bill that aims to significantly reduce the amount of plastic we all use in our everyday lives.

Yes, there’s been a lot of different efforts to ban different types of plastic. This law signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom requires that all single-use packaging and food service ware - plastic forks and stuff - must be recyclable or compostable in 10 years. Also, by 2032 the plastic-producing industry must reduce this single-use waste by 25% AND boost recycling of plastic by 65%. Here’s what else the law does.

I’m sure you’ve seen the absolutely gross pictures of plastic water bottles washed up in landfills or on the shores of the ocean. It bothers me so much that I’m now a stickler for at least TRYING to recycle anything plastic (even if I know a lot of it doesn’t actually get recycled).

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My colleague Erin Stone has been reporting on this story and when we talked about the effect of plastic on marine life and other animals, she also pointed out the negative effect it has on us. Human beings. Especially if you live by a petrochemical cluster, which are basically plastic making facilities. According to a summary of The New Coal: Plastics & Climate Change report, which Erin linked to in her article, people living within 3 miles of these manufacturing sites “earn 28% less than the average U.S. household and are 67% more likely to be people of color.”

A lot of the plastic we use is created from fossil fuels, which contributes to the warming climate. And, as I mentioned earlier, most of it does not get recycled. Erin says it sits in a landfill or ends up in an incinerator. It probably goes without saying, but burning plastic is terrible for people’s health. The people who live by these incinerators have been dealing with the health effects for years, she says.

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“You don't necessarily think about the entire lifecycle of something you're buying and it is ubiquitous in our daily life,” Erin tells me. “It’s not just about the horrific things we're doing to the wildlife and the beautiful landscapes and oceans that we value.”

As always, try to stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • California’s primary election results are finally here and certified. In total, 28.4% Angelenos showed up to vote, and progressive newcomers made a strong showing.
  • Once again, Fourth of July fireworks left their mark on LA’s air quality. Experts say it might have been better than last year, although it was still “dangerously bad”.
  • Today, the 5th Circuit will hear oral arguments in favor of DACA. Among the 20 or so “defendant-intervenors” is Jungwoo Kim, an older DACA recipient we've followed over the years.
  • When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, companies including Starbucks, Disney and Apple announced they would support employees who need to travel out of state to get an abortion. Some experts say it’s not that simple.
  • In 2014, Proposition 47 removed the threat of jail time for simple drug possession. Now, participation in California’s drug courts is way down – and that may not be a good thing.
  • Navigating healthcare in the US can be confusing and complicated. Here’s everything you need to know about getting rid of medical debt (or not getting into it in the first place).

Before You Go...How Do You Hack LAX?

The main entrance to the Los Angeles International Airport. There is the L.A.X. sign and palm trees against a sunset sky.
The nearly empty entrance to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is seen on April 16, 2020, in Los Angeles.
(Valerie Macon
/
AFP via Getty Images)

If you’ve traveled through the Los Angeles International Airport lately, you know it can be kind of a headache. There’s all that construction… the slow moving traffic around the circle… just all the people that are flying right now. It’s double annoying with airline price hikes and delayed flights. BUT we all want to go places, right? Well, we want to help make this process a little easier for folks this summer. We are working on a guide for how to hack LAX, and we would love for our readers to contribute. Tell us - how do you travel to and from this airport?

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Do you have a favorite route that you like to take to beat the traffic? Do you take the bus, or Uber? Do you drive, or always have someone drop you? What’s easier: getting to LAX, or trying to leave it?

We’re interested in your tips on how you navigate it all — from packing must-haves to the getting adjusted on the flight. Please share by filling out our form here.

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