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

Unilever puts Dove brand on a MuCell diet

April 23, 2014 1:57 pm ET

New technology employed by Unilever NV in the manufacture of bottles for its Dove Body Wash range of products could end up saving the brand owner up...    More

Sale of Romanian PVC producer Oltchim assets postponed again

April 23, 2014 1:35 pm ET

The long anticipated privatization of insolvent Romanian PVC producer Oltchim has been postponed yet again, this time until mid-May.    More

Image

Coffee roaster looks to improve footprint of single cup systems

April 22, 2014 1:30 pm ET

One of the largest coffee and tea manufacturers in North America has introduced a single-serve beverage capsule intended to curb the waste created by ...    More

Some medical devices could get faster approval with new FDA rules

April 22, 2014 7:41 pm ET

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing an expedited approval for medical devices for devices aimed at the diagnosis or treatment of...    More

Image

Two Ohio groups team up to accelerate development of future medical devices

April 22, 2014 9:55 am ET

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron and Cleveland-based design specialists Nottingham Spirk announced a strategic partnership that the two org...    More

Market Reports

Market Data Book - Rankings & Lists

A one-stop download of Plastic News' exclusive annual lists and processor rankings containing essential data including sales, employees, end markets, materials and more.
EXCLUSIVE EXCEL FEATURE: full mailing address details for available plant locations.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Mold Making and Tooling Review and Outlook 2014 North America

This report provides in-depth analysis of the mold and toolmaking market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats, the latest developments in production and labor and equipment trends impacting moldmakers.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events