Illinois residents--watch out! There's a bill in the legislature that's being pushed by the plastic bag industry and would prevent local governments, except for Chicago, from banning plastic bags.
SB 3442 by Illinois State Senator Terry Link is currently on the floor of the second House. It may be scheduled for a second reading as early as next Monday.
The bill also requires plastic bag manufacturers to register with the state and develop a recycling plan to increase access to collection sites and improve recycling rates. Manufacturers would have to show less than 1% increase in plastic bag recycling from 2014 to 2015. Failure to meet these requirements could lead to fines of no more than $1000.
This bill attempts to wrap plastic bags (pun intended) in the flag of recycling while sneaking in a provision to take away local power. But as we've seen here in California, recycling doesn't work. The statewide infrastructure for plastic bag recycling as mandated under CA law resulted in a dismal 3% recycling rate in 2009.
If you don't live in Illinois, please forward this to your friends and family that do. We need your help in stopping this bill!
In the absense of a statewide solution, it's up to local governments to take action against plastic bag pollution. Plastic bag ordinances, such as the LA County ordinance which recently reported a 94% reduction in all single-use bags, work. Plastic bag recycling does not.