California fails to pass statewide plastic bans

Mike Verespej

Published: September 5, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Sustainability, Public Policy, Materials, Recycling, Suppliers

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (Sept. 5, 1:50 p.m. ET) — The continuing effort to enact statewide bans in California on single-use plastic carryout bags and expanded polystyrene takeout food containers has once again failed to gather enough support in the legislature.

The California legislature ended its session Aug. 31 without a Senate vote on a proposed plastic bag ban and with the Assembly voting 45-26 against the proposed ban on PS containers. That’s the fourth straight year that a PS ban has failed and the sixth straight year that a plastic bag ban has failed.

However, state legislators did extend the mandated state plastic bag recycling program until 2020 and added a provision allowing local governments to place fees on plastic bags.

Currently, 53 California communities have full bans on expanded PS takeout containers. Another 12 have PS bans that apply only to city facilities and city events.

The absence of statewide legislation has led 41 California cities and seven counties to ban plastic bags. Those communities cover geographic areas that represent 16 percent of the state’s population, according to Californians Against Waste.

In addition, the California Grocers Association, which had lobbied for the statewide plastic bag ban, said it expects at least 22 more California communities to ban plastic bags by the end of the year.

“If the high number of bag bans at the local level … becomes reality, there may be no need for the legislature to consider legislation next year [to ban plastic bags] because most major cities in California may have already taken the step of banning bags,” said Laurie Hansen Sheets, executive director and legislative director of the Western Plastics Association, in the September WPA newsletter. “Plastic reusable bag manufacturers may want to consider legislation in 2013 … to ensure that their products can still be used at the local levels.”

“The WPA will be facing more issues in California, and other states, come January when the rest of the legislatures come back into session,” Hansen wrote. “Beyond film/bags [and] polystyrene bans, we will be facing mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility proposals, recycling mandates [and] take back initiatives.”

Nationwide, the number of communities in the U.S. with plastic bag bans now total 82, including Homer, Alaska, which enacted a ban on single-use plastic bags Aug. 27 that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Plastic bag bans are now in place in three of the 14 largest and five of the 29 largest cities in the United StatesSan Francisco; San Jose; Austin, Texas; Seattle and Portland, Ore.

In addition, the nation’s fourth-largest city, Houston, is currently considering a bag ban proposal, and Los Angeles — the nation’s second-largest city with a population of 4 million — this summer set in motion a plan to ban plastic bags.

More than half of the plastic bag bans in the United States — 44 — have been enacted this year. In addition, three communities — Aspen, Colo.; Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Md. — have taxes on plastic carryout bags.


Comments

California fails to pass statewide plastic bans

Mike Verespej

Published: September 5, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Some medical devices could get faster approval with new FDA rules

April 22, 2014 7:41 pm ET

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing an expedited approval for medical devices for devices aimed at the diagnosis or treatment of...    More

Image

Two Ohio groups team up to accelerate development of future medical devices

April 22, 2014 9:55 am ET

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron and Cleveland-based design specialists Nottingham Spirk announced a strategic partnership that the two...    More

Image

Coffee roaster looks to improve footprint of single cup systems

April 22, 2014 1:30 pm ET

One of the largest coffee and tea manufacturers in North America has introduced a single-serve beverage capsule intended to curb the waste created by ...    More

Image

HRS adding more North American production for hot runners

April 22, 2014 12:57 pm ET

An Italian tooling component supplier is set to open a new production plant in Grand Rapids, Mich. The HRS Flow Division of San Polo di Piace-...    More

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star Nati...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events