Forgive my long gap in BYO blogging - a time consuming business keeping two blogs active....
Apologies aside, there's some fairly urgent business in the recycling policy world: YOUR HELP IS NEEDED.
A while back, the “Plastic Bag Litter and Waste Reduction Bill” (AB2449) passed the California State Assembly. The bill requires larger grocery stores in the state to provide visible and accessible recycling bins for plastic bags, makes bag manufacturers work with stores to ensure that plastic bags are properly collected, transported and recycled, and requires grocery stores to offer reusable bags for purchase to their customers.
All of which sounds great, BUT, as often happens, some disturbing language was added, which would essentially prohibit any local county, city, or township from imposing any fee, ban, levy, or restriction on plastic bags. See new language here.
The Earth Resource Foundation (ERF) has been working actively with other groups to give some teeth to the bill, and find this new turn devastating. In addition to the ban restriction part, there are other problems with the amendments, full list following.
Read on, and take action: ASK THE GOVERNOR TO VETO AB2449. It is important to let the Governor know the environmentally community and recyclers do not support AB2449, particularly its pre-emption of local government authority to impose any fee, ban, levy, or restrictions on plastic bags.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Or send an Email
Why recycling advocates/environmentalists/concerned citizens oppose AB2449:
1) Opening paragraph suggests there will be some type of recycled content in the plastic bags comparing it to the trash bag bill. Yet this is just about collecting bags;
2) This requires only plastic carryout bags, yet most stores collect carryout, dry cleaning, produce, newspapers, etc.
3) There is no requirement for plastic bags to be made out of recycled content;
4) There is no requirement for the store to reduce their plastic bag usage as was done in San Francisco;
5) There is no requirement to provide incentives for people who use
reusable bags or any requirement that so many consumers use reusable bags;
6) There is no money for enforcement, education, etc.;
7) The "store" requirement is for very large stores and doesn't even use the CIWMB definition for stores based on revenues, which would include more stores (we would like to include malls, 7-11, 99cent stores, etc.);
8) States that the manufacturer must develop educational materials and make available stores yet, doesn't require that stores put up the materials;
9) Doesn't include any education of clerks, managers and other staff on the harms of plastic, bag packing, or the economic/ecological benefits of using reusable bags.
Hope thats convincing enough......