As part of the Coalition Opposing SB 568, the American Chemistry Council would like to respond to your recent Viewpoint piece [“Turn down political rhetoric,” July 18, Page 6]. We understand that “8,000” looks like a large number, and we agree: That's a lot of jobs. This number comes from an economic-impact study conducted in 2009 by Keybridge Research. The study is publically available on our website, and in it, Keybridge transparently lays out its methodology and key assumptions.
Among those assumptions is that “Equipment used to produce PS foam food-service products is highly specialized and efforts to retool facilities to produce products not subject to the ban would likely require full recapitalization.” That's just one of the reasons the study concludes that a ban on polystyrene foam food-service products would likely result in multiple plant closures.
Currently in California, parties that support the ban are touting that SB 568 is a “job creator,” but we have yet to see data to back that up. The Keybridge study notes the potential for manufacturers of alternative products to scale up production (at 50 percent and 100 percent) but also recognizes that in reality much of the new demand will be met by imports.
PS foam food-service manufacturers take very seriously the jobs and principles at stake in this debate. Given the state of California's economy, we don't view these numbers as anything close to “silly.”
American Chemistry Council