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

Image

A. Schulman reports growth in sales and profit

October 22, 2014 7:58 pm ET

Executives with materials maker A. Schulman Inc. have to be smiling after seeing full results for the firm's 2014 fiscal year.    More

Image

PolyOne takes on LED lighting

October 22, 2014 4:23 pm ET

PolyOne Corp. is making inroads into LED lighting applications with its Therma-Tech-brand material technology.    More

Image

Simple lightweighting in packaging, caps not so simple anymore

October 22, 2014 4:16 pm ET

The days of finding simple ways to remove additional weight — and costs — from plastic bottles are over, according to one expert.    More

Image

Sales, orders climbing for Wittmann Battenfeld

October 22, 2014 4:04 pm ET

Equipment maker Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH expects sales this year to increase 7 percent, to 295 million euros, as it said some key markets, including...    More

Image

Bergen International adds manufacturing space, extrusion line

October 22, 2014 3:42 pm ET

Chemical foaming agent manufacturer Bergen International LLC recently doubled its manufacturing capacity, added an extrusion line and laboratory space...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events