California to ban plastic bag

Okay, now that I’ve got the excitement of the new IPhone 4 out of my system, back to blogging and this one is about California planning to become the first US state to ban single-use plastic bag.

Last week, the California Assembly approved the bill AB1998 that would ban single use carryout bags and even paper bags on or after January 1, 2012 from groceries, supermarkets and pharmacies. The bill also requires the store to provide to consumers at the point of sale a recycled paper bag at a reasonable cost, but not less than five cents.

By 2013 and every two-years thereafter, producers of reusable bags must submit a certification to California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (DRRR) that each bag meets the requirements of a bag being “reusable” — meaning it is designed and manufactured for at least 100 uses and is made of a washable material that “does not contain lead or any toxic metal in a toxic amount, as determined by the DRRR.

Producers have to pay a fee for each certification not exceeding $10,000 per producer for the initial certification and between $2,000 and $3,000 every 2-years after. The bill authorizes DRRR to conduct inspections to enforce the ban.

For those who will not comply, penalties will be up to $500 for the first violation, and an additional $500 for subsequent violations, up to a total of $5,000. Not getting the certificate will receive fines of up to $50,000 per violation, with a max of $150,000/year.

Will this impact the plastic industry? Definitely yes, as everybody in the chemical industry knows too well that what regulation implemented in California, will not stay in California alone.

The American Chemistry Council stated that the bill would devastate statewide recycling programs for dozens of recyclable products, such as plastic dry-cleaning bags, newspaper delivery bags, consumer product wraps and retail bags.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration and California’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is reportedly supportive of the bill.

One Response to California to ban plastic bag

  1. Jack Wilkerson 8 June, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    The real joke is on the “Environmentalists”. Ban 6 gram shopping bags that are reused for household trash, and customers now have to buy 18 gram commercial trash bags. Guess who wins? Plastic bag companies have to add factories to handle the increased plastic tonnage going into landfills. Who loses? The environment. This grand experiment was proven when Ireland banned shopping bags. The smallest plastic bag company saw sales increases of 70%. Some as high as 200%. This issue is not about scientific facts. An EIS, Environmental Impact Study, will easily prove this, but “environmentalists” fight to prevent an EIS on this issue, their Pet issue. Canada is considering a study to ban reusable bags….A significant health hazard.

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