Aug 12 - A Losing Battle: How Big Plastic is Spending Big Money to Hold Back Bag Bans


Submitted by Recycling News on August 12, 2011 - 16:24.

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An article in this month's Rolling Stone astutely outlined the plastic industry's strategy thus far in the battle between plastic bag makers and bag ban advocates, a strategy that has resulted in its exhorbitant spending on lobbyists, campaigns, and political donations.

AB 1998, a bill that would have banned single-use plastic bags in California, died on the last day of Senate last year. According to the CA Secretary of State's records, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Hilex Poly, a plastic bag manufacturer on the East Coast, spent a combined amount of over $2.2 million to lobby against the bill. Hilex alone spent over $1 million during the same period that the Senate vote occurred.

This year, with no bag ban on the horizon, ACC and Hilex has cut back, spending less than $500,000 so far on two bag-related bills in the California legislature: AB 298 and SB 915.

There's no doubt that a sea change is happening in terms of plastic bag legislation, and the industry knows this. In addition to threatening local ordinances with lawsuits, it's even gone as far as bullying a reusable bag maker for posting information on the internet that caused its businesses "irreparable harm".

But CAW knows that it's only a matter of time. To stay up to date on what we're doing to stop plastic bag litter, visit our website regularly.


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