Ban suggested for plastic grocery bags and polystyrene food service packaging

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Oct. 16, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

A recent Ocean Protection Council (OPC) staff report, "Draft Implementation Strategy for the California Ocean Protection Council Resolution to Reduce and Prevent Ocean Litter," contains several policy recommendations that aim to reduce litter and marine debris.  While many suggestions have merit and are worthy of further debate (to coordinate education and outreach campaigns, for example, or to direct state funds for removal of ocean litter and litter education), a proposed ban on plastic grocery bags and polystyrene food service packaging will negatively impact many California manufacturing companies and businesses.  

Packaging materials are selected by businesses, retailers and consumers for a variety of reasons including performance, integrity, durability, and in some cases, cost, especially for many small family-owned businesses.  Each material type has its own unique environmental footprint.  Changing the composition of packaging does little to focus on the core issue of reducing all forms of litter in the marine debris stream.  

The OPC did not reach out to the business community during the preparation of this draft report.  Many CMTA members and their employees will be directly impacted by these recommendations if adopted, and, in our view, deserve to be heard and be part of the process by which any recommendations are developed.  California is home to a number of companies that exclusively manufacture products that the OPC draft report recommends be prohibited.  

CMTA has urged the OPC to engage in a constructive dialogue with manufacturers, retailers and others in the business community in order to identify marine debris policies that make sense for the environment and for the California jobs.  

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989