Chicago's Proposed Bag Ban Threatens American Jobs City-Wide Recycling Initiatives Much Better Options, Says SPI

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association opposes the partial plastic bag ban unanimously approved by the Chicago City Council's Environmental Committee. The measure is scheduled to go before the full City Council Wednesday, April 30.

"The proposal to ban plastic shopping bags in Chicago is an ill-conceived job killer that will become a costly burden to families across the city. Paper bags, the plastic bag substitute, are an expensive option that will trickle down to the consumer through increased costs for groceries and other products," said SPI President and CEO William R. Carteaux.

"Banning plastic bags in Chicago will have a negative impact on all sectors of the city's population," Carteaux said. "Reduce, reuse and recycle are much better options."

In 2012, the 892,000 American jobs in the plastics manufacturing industry accounted for $41.7 billion in payroll, according to a report titled, "The Definition, Size and Impact of the Plastics Industry." The plastics industry employs people in every state across the nation, including 3,000 in Illinois. Within the plastics industry, the plastic bag manufacturing and recycling industry employs more than 30,800 people in the U.S., according to the American Progressive Bag Alliance.

Plastic bags are 100 percent recyclable and recycled bags can make new bags or building products such as plastic lumber for backyard decks, playground equipment and fences. Ninety percent of Americans report reusing them for other household uses. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the recycling rate of polyethylene bags increased 23.8 percent from 2009 to 2010.

The plastic bag ban that San Francisco enacted in 2007 had little impact in reducing litter. In 2007, plastic retail bags were .60 percent of total large litter in a San Francisco audit. In 2008, one year after the city banned plastic bags, the percentage grew to .64 percent.

Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $373 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly 900 thousand American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI's industry services. Find SPI online at www.plasticsindustry.org and www.inthehopper.org.

Contact: Michael Salmon
202-974-5249 (Office)
202-258-8281 (Cell)

SOURCE SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association



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