(May 18, 2009) — Two different plastics industry groups are backing proposals [Assembly Bill 1141 and Senate Bill 531] in the California Legislature that would elicit producer responsibility from makers and distributors of plastic bags (Industry embraces producer responsibility, April 13, Page 1).
This would indicate that these [industry] groups are willing to put forth an effort to help cut down on litter and increase the role of producers in recycling.
The eco-movement in California has always said that that was the direction they wanted to move in. But, do my eyes deceive me or did we just get a glimpse of the their ultimate plan?
Stephanie Barger, executive director of Earth Resource Foundation states: More recycling doesn't stop all of the destruction that occurs to get the materials that are initially needed to make single-use products.
This sounds like she considers the introduction of the proposed legislation as a victory for the eco-movement and that the plastics industry is caving in to their demands. It looks like she is proceeding to the next step, laying the groundwork to cut off the source of raw material for the industry.
Sarah Abramson of Heal the Bay in Santa Monica also seems to give an indication of what really matters to the eco-movement: Unless the consumer is on the receiving end of the fee and it hits them in the pocket book, it is not going to reduce plastic bag use. This apparently is in response to the idea of the eco-groups losing out on their piece of the 25 cent-per-bag fee that would be eliminated by the proposed legislation.
Most telling is the final comment by the American Chemistry Council's Tim Shestek: There have been calls by environmentalists over the years for increased producer responsibility and mandated content. But now they are not interested in working with us on this.
Apparently, they were never interested in a workable solution to the problem; they are only concerned with forwarding their own agenda.