The San Diego Union-Tribune has a story today about a proposal to broaden the state's beverage bottle fee to include a much wider variety of containers: As the story says, "plastic containers that hold everything from nuts and potato chips to drinks and barbecue sauce." The issue centers on a proposal by the state Ocean Protection Council aimed at the state's marine debris problem. If you haven't noticed, California is taking this issue very seriously, and plastics have attracted a lot of attention. Some cities have banned polystyrene food service products, for example, and regulations related to T-shirt bags, both locally and statewide, have been the subject of frequent headlines.
“Marine debris is one of the worst problems our oceans face,” said Mike Chrisman, the state's resources secretary and chairman of the Ocean Protection Council.The story quotes Tim Shestek, a Sacramento lobbyist for the American Chemistry Council, saying that putting a fee on plastic products will cause people to switch to other packaging materials that could just as likely end up on beaches. “We need to look at how to reduce overall litter,” Shestek said.