BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

Plastic bag manufacturers mobilize to fight ban

article image

ANDREA SEET | STAFF

SUPPORT OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

OCTOBER 13, 2014

A group of plastic bag manufacturers is seeking to gather enough signatures to suspend California’s upcoming ban on single-use plastic bags.

The group, called the American Progressive Bag Alliance, opposes plastic bag bans and taxes. It received permission Friday from the California Secretary of State Debra Bowen to begin collecting signatures in order to qualify the referendum, which would postpone the law and bring it to the November 2016 ballot.

SB 270, signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Sept. 30, will ban plastic bags from grocery stores and pharmacies with some exceptions beginning July 2015 and will extend to convenience and liquor stores in July 2016. Alameda County’s Reusable Bag Ordinance, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2013, banned businesses from distributing single-use plastic bags.

The group needs 504,760 signatures, equivalent to 5 percent of the votes cast for governor in the last election, by Dec. 29 in order to qualify the referendum and challenge the bill.

The statement from the the alliance says that the ban will “jeopardize thousands of California manufacturing jobs, hurt the environment, and fleece consumers for billions so grocery store shareholders and their union partners can line their pockets” if allowed to go into effect.

President and CEO William Carteaux of the Plastics Industry Trade Association — which represents nearly 900,000 workers in the U.S. plastics industry — said in a statement supporting the group that the ban would hurt consumers and does not help the environment.

“The lack of science or logic in SB 270 sets a disconcerting precedent for what legislators could do under the guise of environmental stewardship,” Carteaux said in a statement.

But co-author of the bill Senator Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, said in a statement after the bill passed that environmental concerns and the high costs of cleaning up plastic bags back the bill.

“This new law will greatly reduce the flow of billions of single-use plastic bags that litter our communities and harm our environment each year,” Padilla said in a statement. “Moving from single-use plastic bags to reusable bags is common sense.”

Many Berkeley vendors will not see much change, because the city already implemented a similar plastic bag ban on Jan. 1, 2013.

Nearby at Sam’s Market on Telegraph Avenue, cashier Ramy Ayyad said he is behind conservative plastic bag use and would not sign the referendum.

On Northside, Mohamed Alameri of the Campus Store said the ban could be a positive change if applied to every store, but if some businesses such as restaurants are permitted the bags, then he should be able to use them as well. He still uses plastic bags because they are more efficient, and he said he would sign the referendum to bring the ban to a vote.

Contact Frances Fitzgerald at 

LAST UPDATED

OCTOBER 13, 2014


Related Articles

featured article
A bill that would ban most stores from giving out single-use plastic bags is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for signing after passing the senate floor.
A bill that would ban most stores from giving out single-use plastic bags is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for signing after passing the senate floor.
featured article
featured article
A referendum to overturn the new student district approved by Berkeley City Council in December was certified by the Alameda County registrar of voters on Monday, according to the city manager’s office.
A referendum to overturn the new student district approved by Berkeley City Council in December was certified by the Alameda County registrar of voters on Monday, according to the city manager’s office.
featured article
featured article
Following the footsteps of nearly 100 cities and counties — including Alameda County — who in recent years have implemented local bans on single-use plastic bags, California legislators announced in a press conference last week that they will consider a bill prohibiting the bags statewide.
Following the footsteps of nearly 100 cities and counties — including Alameda County — who in recent years have implemented local bans on single-use plastic bags, California legislators announced in a press conference last week that they will consider a bill prohibiting the bags statewide.
featured article