Plastics under seige

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Aug. 1, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Currently, plastic grocery bags and other film-type plastics are being recycled in increasing numbers and there are plastic recycling laws.   In 2006, there was a 24% nationwide increase in the number of pounds recovered over 2005.  Such increases are expected to continue as more retailers set up bag collection programs.  Yet, numerous bills were introduced this year to require increased recycling or to restrict or ban various types of plastic products in specific applications.  

One of those bills, AB 2058(Mark Leno, D-San Francisco), was initially designed to require stores to only offer plastic carryout bags if they could demonstrate a store recycling rate of 35% by 2011 and 70% by 2012.  The bill has been amended several times (at one point it included paper bags as well).  

The bill now prohibits a store from providing plastic carryout bags to customers unless the store demonstrates an increased diversion rate of 70% in the number of plastic carryout bags provided by the store during a specified period.  It would require a store that is not complying with the diversion rate requirements to provide a plastic carryout bag to a customer only if the store charges the customer 25 cents or more per bag.  A store charging customers for plastic carryout bags would be required to demonstrate that any revenue collected, excluding the cost of the bags and a reasonable financial return, is used by the store to implement specified plastic carryout bag recycling,  plastic carryout bag  cleanup, and  plastic carryout bag  waste reduction programs.

Consumers are struggling with rising food, fuel and other costs.  Now is not the time to place another fee on them.  Estimates are that AB 2058 could add hundreds of dollars per year to family grocery bills.  

If this issue concerns you, check out www.stopthebagtax.com.  It not only provides information on contacting you legislator, but also includes a link to hear radio spot ads currently being aired in the Los Angeles area.

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