After the California Legislature killed bills designed to combat plastic pollution for the second year in a row, environmentalists say they’ve concluded the fight might be unwinnable at the heavily lobbied state Capitol. Instead, they’ve resolved to take the battle to voters, with an initiative aimed at the 2022 ballot. A pair of identical bills, AB1080 and SB54, died as lawmakers squabbledwith hours left before they adjourned for the year. The bills were designed to phase out some of the most commonly nonrecyclable plastics: flimsy single-use packaging and items such as cups and utensils.

Activists say that while legislative infighting didn’t help with a close vote as the session ended, the numbers were never on their side. They note that even though the Legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic, some of the more moderate party members have been intensively courted by the plastics and oil industries, which spent heavily to kill the bills.