SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Encouraged by the Illinois General Assembly's Environmental Health Committee's overwhelming vote last week to advance the Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Act (S.B. 3442), which would increase recycling rates of plastic bags, sacks and wraps; preserve jobs; and create a uniform recycling law for Illinois, the American Progressive Bag Alliance today urged the full house to pass the bill in an open letter to all legislators.
APBA, which represents those Americans in plastic bag manufacturing and recycling, stressed the opportunity the common-sense approach that plastic bag and wrap recycling provides for Illinois consumers and the environment without adding costs to consumers, small businesses or supermarkets. Instead, businesses will benefit from being able to sell used plastic bags, sacks and wraps to recyclers so that they can be turned into new products – like backyard decking, plumbing pipes, playground equipment, and even new plastic bags.
S.B. 3442 provides an easier means for more consumers to recycle their used plastic bags, sacks and wraps by requiring bag manufacturers to supply more recycling bin locations and setting minimum recycling rate requirements. By setting a statewide standard for recycling, Illinois will avoid having a patchwork of local laws that burden consumers and businesses. This bill is awaiting a vote by the General Assembly's full chamber.
The full text of the letter from David Asselin, Executive Director of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, is below.
May 1, 2012
Dear Representatives of the General Assembly:
Illinois is on the verge of making national history in environmental legislation. All the General Assembly needs to do is pass the Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Act (S.B. 3442). Illinois should be proud to be the first state to embrace a statewide solution that works and creates jobs – plastic bag and film recycling.
Plastic bags are 100% recyclable and are re-used by nine out of ten Americans. They are made primarily from clean natural gas, and plastic bag manufacturing and recycling supports more than 30,000 manufacturing jobs across the nation – with 3,000 workers in Illinois alone.
Nationally, plastic bag, sack and wrap recycling has risen 24% over the past year – and this legislation will bring more jobs in plastic bag recycling to the state, bringing manufacturing jobs back home.
The added benefit of this bill is that it comes at no cost to consumers, small businesses or supermarkets. In reality, businesses will make money by selling used plastic bags, sacks and wraps to recyclers so that they can be turned into new items that we use every day – like backyard decking, plumbing pipes, playground equipment, new plastic bags and a whole host of other products. All consumers have to do is bring their bags back to their local stores and place them in the recycling bins.
Furthermore, manufacturing bags with higher levels of recycled content not only draws on fewer natural resources, it is also more cost effective. This means bags with recycled content will not cost store owners and retail outlets more than bags with lower levels of recycled content.
The American Progressive Bag Alliance is proud to join Illinois in this recycling effort, and we hope this legislation becomes a model bill for legislatures across the nation. We look forward, with your support, to bringing even more recycling jobs to the State of Illinois, and urge you to pass the Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Act.
American Progressive Bag Alliance
Representing more than 30,000 American workers in plastic bag manufacturing and recycling
About the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA)
The American Progressive Bag Alliance was founded in 2005 to represent the United States' plastic bag manufacturing and sector, employing 30,800 workers in 349 communities across the nation all using clean, natural gas. APBA promotes the responsible use, reuse, recycling and disposal of plastic bags and advocates for American-made plastic products as the best environmental choice at check out—for both retailers and consumers.
SOURCE American Progressive Bag Alliance