Scrap recyclers adopt policy opposing bag bans, fees

Catherine Kavanaugh
WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

Published: August 5, 2013 1:16 pm ET
Updated: August 5, 2013 1:18 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Public Policy, Recycling

A trade group that represents scrap recyclers has come out against efforts to ban or charge fees for recyclable paper and plastic shopping bags.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries announced Monday that its board has adopted a policy to promote a market-based system for the trade of recyclable materials without restrictions or interference.

The policy says ISRI "opposes bans and fees on paper and plastic bags that are being manufactured into useful commodity grade materials and sold into viable, commercial markets without subsidies or noncompetitive, fixed pricing."

ISRI President Robin Wiener described the group's members as "quite concerned" about ban and fee decisions that governmental policymakers are making without considering the impact on recycling.

Many cities and counties have enacted plastic bag bans, taxes and fees. Proponents contend the measures reduce the number of plastic bags in landfills, trees, storm drains and recycling centers, where they clog sorting machines.

"No matter how good the intentions, these policy discussions should not be made in a vacuum," Wiener said in a statement. "Rather than bans and fees that take away jobs and increase costs to consumers, policy makers should take advantage of the great economic and environmental opportunities associated with responsibly recycling these bags."

In the United States, about 77 percent of paper mills rely on recovered fiber to make some or all of their products, according to ISRI, which also says recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 79 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

For plastic recycling, ISRI says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cites significant energy savings of an estimated 50-75 million BTUs per ton of material recycled.

Joel Litman, president of Texas Recycling/Surplus, Inc., spokesman for ISRI's paper stock industries chapter, said his company recycles bags into valuable commodity grade materials that are sold to manufacturing plants all over the world to make finished products.

"Policymakers and consumers are often surprised to learn the important economic role that paper and plastic bags play in the continuous life-cycle of paper and plastic products," Litman said in a statement.

ISRI's new policy also calls for more retailers to provide convenient collection for plastic bags — an area where it sees some progress. In 2011, the trade groups says an estimated 151 million pounds of bags and sacks were collected for recycling, which represents a 19 percent increase over 2010.

Washington-based ISRI says proper recycling brings economic opportunities associated with the collection, processing, and reuse of paper and plastic bags.

The plastic bag industry employs more than 30,000 people directly, according to Phil Rozenski, director of sustainability and marketing for Hilex Poly Co. LLC, and a member of the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA).

APBA and other organizations have been successful in opposing bag bans and taxes in Oregon, California, Virginia, Maryland and Washington state.


Comments

Scrap recyclers adopt policy opposing bag bans, fees

Catherine Kavanaugh
WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

Published: August 5, 2013 1:16 pm ET
Updated: August 5, 2013 1:18 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Judge limits scope of jury verdict against JM Eagle

December 19, 2014 2:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Los Angeles said Dec. 18 that last year's jury verdict issued against J-M Manufacturing Co. — now JM Eagle — for...    More

Image

Soy-based foam improves window performance, sustainability

December 18, 2014 12:51 pm ET

Launched in April 2013, Madison, Wis.-based WFI Global LLC is making a name in the fenestration market with what it says is a distinct product...    More

Image

Europe puts its 'Circular Economy' recycling effort on hold, for now

December 18, 2014 12:28 pm ET

The European Commission has withdrawn its Circular Economy initiative from its 2015 work program, and will instead replace it with “a new, more ...    More

Image

New extruders, repelletizer to improve production for InterGroup

December 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

InterGroup International Ltd. will install new, larger extruders and repelletizers at all three of its plastic scrap recycling locations in 2015.    More

Image

Investments allow UK's Jayplas to keep recycling supply chain at home

December 17, 2014 9:32 am ET

Corby, England-based plastics recycler Jayplas has announced the completion of a new extrusion and printing plant, together with a new packaging divis...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

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

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

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events