California fails to pass statewide plastic bans

Mike Verespej

Published: September 5, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

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

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

California lawmakers give final approval to plastic bag ban

August 30, 2014 6:00 am ET

Under the measure, single-use plastic bags will be barred from California retailers, including grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores, as ...    More

Image

Poor plastic coating prompts cable recall

August 29, 2014 2:10 pm ET

Australia's competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has ordered a major recall of 2,485 miles of electrical ...    More

Image

EPA fines RI polymer company

August 29, 2014 1:20 pm ET

A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean...    More

Image

Haitian's standardization efforts paying off

August 29, 2014 9:53 am ET

Streamlined design efforts and robust export sales helped propel Ningbo, China-based injection molding machine manufacturer Haitian International...    More

Image

Updating a travel icon for the professional millennial

August 29, 2014 11:44 am ET

As part of a drive to expand its customer base to include more millennials, Airstream Inc. turned to the Columbus College of Art & Design's MindMarket...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

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

More Events