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


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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