Earlier this month, a group called Coalition Opposing SB 568 put out a news release arguing that “as many as 8,000” jobs “would likely vanish” if the state Legislature passes the bill, which would ban polystyrene food containers.
First let me make it clear that I am strongly against product bans.
As I wrote in our annual “industry agenda” column, bans and taxes that encourage replacing plastic products with less-sustainable alternative materials must be discouraged.
I also wrote that consumers, regulators and legislators have a responsibility to deal with plastics-related issues without bias, but rather by considering scientific evidence, as well as price and performance issues.
Nevertheless, let's recognize this 8,000 jobs claim for what it is — an inflated bit of rhetoric. If PS takeout containers are banned, don't tell me that container makers will not switch to manufacturing similar containers made from alternative materials.
And a substantial slice of the 8,000 at-risk jobs are at small family and ethnic restaurants, which say they would be forced to close their doors because of the higher cost of non-PS clamshells.
The “jobs” card is frequently a winner in political poker-playing, but inflating the figures like this just looks silly.
Loepp is editor of Plastics News and author of “The Plastics Blog.”