Friday, September 01, 2006

URGENT: Ask Governor to Veto AB2449

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
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
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......

3 comments:

cleangreenbags said...

Why is there such a reluctance from the larger stores and politicians to get on board? All over the world this problem has been addressed head on with stunning results! Why are we taking the pc approach. This is a problem that needs to be addressed and NOW! I got so fed up with the state of play here in MA that I decided to start a business selling reusable bags (www.cleangreenbags.com)in order to get this thing moving. We obviously cannot rely on the politicians or big business so it will be a slow and steady process before the US public sees the wisdom in our efforts.

Rajiv Badlani said...

Hi Anna

Love your blog and completely agree with your views on plastic bags. I just wrote a blog about your appeal for a veto at http://www.badlani.com/blog where I run my own little modest campaign against plastic bags. I have a commercial interest because I sell reusable bags but that doesn’t make my convictions any les sincere.

Keep at it Anna. There are lots of folks around the world agreeing with you and the tribe is increasing every day.

All the best, Rajiv

Anna said...

Rajiv! Thanks so much for the post, this movement needs all the support it can get...and that photo you pieced together w/ me and the Guv'nator is hilarious. Thanks for all YOUR hard work - I've followed your blog, fantastic, and will link up to you later, soon as I have a moment.

There are so many of us out there, cleangreenbags is another one - its indeed a slow process but, well, slow is the new....fast?