It might have led the charge for similar plastic microfiber bills in New York and Connecticut, but California’s Assembly Bill 2379 is off the table—for now.

In February, California State Assembly Member Richard Bloom introduced the bill, which would require clothing that comprises more than 50 percent synthetic material to include an additional label instructing consumers to hand-wash the apparel instead of using a machine. The bill was introduced after different studies suggested that microfibers—many of which measure less than 5 millimeters long—are threatening marine life. If passed in the California State Assembly, the law would have only applied to clothing sold in the state.

“Our next steps are to continue pursuing what we’ve started,” said Sean MacNeil, who serves as Bloom’s chief of staff. “Whether it’s this exact vehicle next year or another proposal, plastic isn’t going away, so we have to continue forward to address this problem.”

The microfiber legislation fight

Opponents of the bill questioned how much impact an additional clothing label would have on environmental conservation and wanted to know more about the threat of these tiny pieces found in the oceans. Leaders within California’s apparel industry were satisfied with their efforts to defeat the bill.

“It took a coalition of the industry’s consumer-products organizations to get the message [to not pass AB 2379] into the hands of the legislators, with a direct aim at the politicians whose constituents would be affected. Those constituents are every retailer, large and small,” said Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association.

As news of the bill’s demise spread, Metchek said that AB 2379 was targeting retailers, which would create issues for sourcing, distribution and manufacturing partnerships. Full Article