By Bob Lebeaux, President, The Plastics Group of America
July 26, 2012
Santa Cruz, CA will soon join the growing list of cities to ban the single-use grocery bags. There is one more vote later this week needed to make the ban official, but it is not looking good for the bag industry. This year has been brutal for the supporters of the carry-out bags. There have been 42 bans approved this year alone, bringing the total to 72 cities with bans in effect or waiting for implementation. Just a note, of the 72 bans, two-thirds are in the state of California. Are they on the forefront of a more “eco-friendly” alternative or over eager to eliminate the plastic bag? Additionally, since the true problem is “littering” and improper disposal of the grocery sacks, has any consideration been given to doubling, tripling or quadrupling littering fines for bags and actually enforcing them? In other words, get caught throwing a soda can on the ground and be subject to the normal $100 fine, but, get caught losing a grocery bag out of the back of your boat, car, etc., then know that it will result in a $500 fine or possibly even more. At least this may help focus in on the individuals that are creating the pollution. Maybe the bag industry can offer some sort of assistance in enforcing the increased littering fines. In cities that increase the fines, smother the local radio & TV with ads warning of them and informing the listeners/viewers of the harm that occurs when plastic bags are not properly disposed of (both ecological and economic, i.e. lost jobs).
We at The Plastics Group would like to hear what you think about this subject - please let us know.