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

Audacious vandal stuns Taipei Plas

September 29, 2014 4:59 pm ET

Melodrama erupted at the traditionally tranquil Taipei Plas trade show on Sept. 28 when a mysterious intruder flung red paint at the Baumüller...    More

Image

Germans, Chinese question Plastindia move to Gujarat

September 29, 2014 4:39 pm ET

Two major international partners of the Plastindia trade show have raised serious concerns about the show organizer's decision to move it to another...    More

Image

Asahi Kasei breaks ground on Alabama compounding plant

September 29, 2014 5:39 pm ET

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America will be able to solve two problems at once with a new compounding plant in Athens, Ala.    More

Image

Shini pushes into western China

September 29, 2014 4:28 pm ET

Despite intellectual-property brigands, Taiwan's Shini Plastics Technologies Inc. is zestfully pursuing the enormous Chinese market for plastics...    More

Image

Sigma's Packworx center geared at helping customers solve problems

September 29, 2014 3:41 pm ET

Sigma Stretch Film has opened a training center to help customers find the best solution to using the packaging films.    More

Market Reports

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 industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

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

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

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