Call For Statewide Plastic Bag Ban Renewed
By EGP New Report
Plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past in California if a statewide ban proposed last week by local state legislators and a coalition of environmental, labor and business groups is passed.
Less than a month after the city of Los Angeles implemented its ban on single-use plastic grocery bags, Senators Kevin de Leon, Ricardo Lara and Alex Padilla were in Vernon last Friday to discuss Senate Bill 270, which would ban plastic bags throughout the state by 2015 and implement a 10 cent fee for recycled paper, reusable plastic and compostable bags.
“The plastic bag ban is a win-win for the environment, for California manufacturing and for jobs,” said De Leon, who represents the 22nd District that includes parts of the city of Los Angeles, East Los Angeles and Vernon.
In addition to helping the planet, the senators said the ban would promote California jobs and manufacturing. They said SB 270 would include financial incentives for businesses affected by the ban to maintain and retrain employees.
The conference was held at Command Packaging, a plastic manufacturer and recycler in the industrial city of Vernon, where environmental and manufacturing representatives joined the senators.
“This legislation sets the stage for California consumers to transition toward affordable reusable bags made in California from post-consumer recycled plastic and away from disposable bags,” said Command Packaging CEO Pete Grande.
Large grocery store chains will be required to take back used bags for recycling. The bill would also increase the percent of recycled content required in reusable plastic bags to 20% in 2016 and 40% by 2020.
“This compromise will bridge the gap and help move the economy forward into a green future,” said De Leon, who along with Lara last year opposed similar legislation authored by Padilla on the grounds it would cut jobs.
The current legislation includes $20 million in funding to help plastic bag manufacturers like Command Packaging retool their plants and retrain workers to produce recyclable bags, a provision that is being hailed by both business and environmental groups.
Joining the senators for the press conference announcing SB 270 were Ronald Fong, California Grocers Association, Pete Grande, President & CEO, Command Packaging, Jim Araby, Executive Director, United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, Mark Murray, Californians Against Waste, David Allgood, Director of Southern California CLCV, Dan Jacobson, Environment California, Friends of the Los Angeles River, Irma Munoz, President, Mujeres de la Tierra, Ruskin Hartley, CEO, Heal the Bay, Surfrider and Pacoima Beautiful.Print This Post
January 30, 2014 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.