California Senate rejects plastic bag ban

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 30, 2013 5:21 pm ET
Updated: May 31, 2013 9:01 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Government & Legislation, Grocery bags, Packaging, Extrusion, Film & Sheet

California legislators again failed to approve a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags. The 18-17 vote in favor of the bill in the state Senate failed to reach the 21-vote threshold for passage.

The Thursday vote marked the eighth attempt to ban plastic bags and tax paper ones in California, where 75 municipal and county laws either banning or taxing bags already exist. In spite of support for Senate Bill 405 from the California Grocers Association and a slew of environmental groups, the state Senate remains the stumbling block for bag legislation.

"Today's vote signals the facts have prevailed in this debate," said Mark Daniels, chairman of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, an interest group representing the United States' plastic bag manufactures and recyclers, in a news release. "A ban on 100 percent recyclable plastic bags would hurt the environment and threaten jobs."

Much of the argument against the most recent measure was made by senators from low-income districts who said their constituents would be hurt financially if required to pay a fee or purchase reusable bags as well as those who listed the myriad household uses for "single use" plastic bags.

The bill, which would have bared grocery stores and big box retailers from handing out single-use thin film bags and require a fee for paper bags, included stiff penalties for businesses: $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second and $2,000 per violation for all subsequent infractions. Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) said such "oppressive" fines were not something the mom-and-pop, minority owned businesses in his district could afford.

"This bill is an attack on low economic areas. It is an attack on minority-owned businesses," Calderon said on the Senate floor shortly before the vote. Opponents also said the bill would cost 2,000 jobs local in the plastics industry, mostly in working-class California communities.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), the bill's author, argued that his district is far from wealthy and that his measure was about the environment and actually saving low-income districts money in the long run. "We're already paying for plastic bags," Padilla said. "It's not as if there's not a cost for all families today with the use of single-use plastic bags. There is also the impact, the cost to state and local governments for clean up, the attempts to recycle plastic and plastic bags especially."

The environmental group Californians Against Waste promised that the campaign to eliminate single-use plastic packaging and waste will continue.

CAW said in a statement that consumers are already cutting back single-use plastic bags -- bag consumption in California is at an estimated 14 billion bags per year, down from 21 billion in 2005.

CAW Executive Director Mark Murray said in the release: "... regardless of the outcome of this legislation this year, the fate of the plastic grocery bag is sealed -- the plastic grocery bag, which only came on the scene in the 1970s, will be extinct in California before the end of this decade."


Comments

California Senate rejects plastic bag ban

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 30, 2013 5:21 pm ET
Updated: May 31, 2013 9:01 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Tighter resin prices leading to price hike for PE film

August 29, 2014 11:13 am ET

One of North America's largest film makers is pushing through a polyethylene price increase due, in part, to the tight resin market.    More

Image

Obituary: Frank Nissel, Welex Inc. co-founder

August 28, 2014 1:01 pm ET

Friends, family and business acquaintances will remember Nissel as an urbane, outgoing machinery executive, an expert on extrusion, a globalist who...    More

Image

Pregis, Sealed Air settle film-foam patent dispute out of court

August 28, 2014 1:01 pm ET

A couple of packaging companies are settling their patent fight over film-foam underlayment.    More

Image

Megadyne buying Belt Corp. of America

August 26, 2014 10:35 am ET

In a move aimed at building its specialty belting manufacturing and fabrication operations, Jason Industrial Inc. — Megadyne SpA's wholly owned ...    More

Image

Sonoco buys Germany's Weidenhammer, plans for thin-walled packaging growth

August 25, 2014 1:41 pm ET

Sonoco Products Co.'s acquisition of Weidenhammer Packaging Group GmbH of Germany includes plastic packaging technology that the company is targeting ...    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