The state’s Environmental Protection Agency finalized a revision of a controversial K-12 environmental curriculum on plastic bags Friday.
California Watch reported last year that whole sections of an 11th-grade teachers' edition guide for a new curriculum had been lifted almost verbatim from comments and suggestions submitted by the American Chemistry Council, the chemical and plastics industry trade group.
That investigation spurred politicians and state regulators to demand an examination into how the controversial text was compiled and changed, and whether industry bias was present.
State schools chief Tom Torlakson issued a statement saying his office would work with Cal/EPA to examine the material and identify areas “where further review may be warranted.”
And state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica, also called for an investigation, to which Cal/EPA responded by saying it would review the chapter.
The new text provides more updated statistics on plastic bag consumption and recycling rates, many of which were provided by California Watch in its story on the textbook.
For instance, while the old text used a statistic offered by the American Chemistry Council indicating that 12 percent of Americans recycle plastic shopping bags, the new text notes “recycling rates specific to plastic shopping bags are not currently calculated by state or federal agencies.”