Apr 24 - Plastics Industry Uses Attack Ads to Fight Statewide Bag Ban

Bag manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to fight SB 405. This legislation, authored by Senator Alex Padilla, would ban single-use plastic bags statewide and allow stores to sell reusable and paper bags.

The plastics industry's latest tactics are revealed in the attack ad below:

The claims that paper bags are Greenhouse Gas producers are untrue; a comparison of paper and plastic shows that paper bags produce 59% less GHG, and use less fossil fuel, over their lifecycle. In addition, the various industry-funded studies on foodborne illness in reusable bags contain numerous flaws. Using common sense and washing reusable bags when they get dirty virtually eliminates the risk of illness.

Two California companies that make plastic bags have already diversified to make other products including reusable bags. There are seven California companies manufacturing reusable bags and dozens others in the reusable bag industry.

Bag manufacturers constantly tout single-use plastic bags as 100% recyclable; the truth is that less than 5% of the 14 billion single-use plastic bags used by Californians each year actually get recycled. Even if plastic bags are properly disposed, their aerodynamic design means they are easily picked up by wind and carried into streets, gutters, waterways and storm drains. Meanwhile, production rates are outstripping recycling rates by double digits.

Plastic bags are a problem product and recycling hasn’t proven to be a solution. The best way to reduce the impacts of marine and urban pollution caused by single-use plastic bags is to stop them from entering the environment in the first place-and no attack ad placed by Bag manufacturers can change that fact.

As of April 22, Earth Day, 74 California communities are covered by local ordinances banning single-use plastic bags. Find out how you can help the rest of California catch up to these forward-thinking communities by supporting SB 405.