American Progressive Bag Alliance Statement on Los Angeles City Council Action on Plastic Retail Bags

May 25, 2012, 11:49 ET from American Progressive Bag Alliance

LOS ANGELES, May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Mark Daniels, Chair of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, explaining this week's action taken by the Los Angeles City Council concerning plastic bags:

"This week's actions by the Los Angeles City Council put in motion a process that pushes Los Angeles in the wrong direction by instructing the City Attorney to draft misguided policy that will put jobs at risk and do nothing to improve the environment. Despite all the hype around this week's vote and the media coverage surrounding it, it should be made clear that the council's actions were not final and do not immediately enact a bag ban. 

There are still significant steps in the process before a plastic bag ban and paper bag tax would go into effect - among them, city officials must conduct an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and develop the draft language for the ordinance. This process will likely take months to complete if not longer, and if at that point the ordinance is approved, there will still be an extended period of time before the ordinance in fully implemented."

The APBA is an organization representing the United States' plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector, which employs 30,800 workers in 349 communities across the nation, 1,900 of whom are in California.

An APBA fact sheet on this week's vote and the status of the L.A. ordinance is below.

Just The Facts: The Los Angeles City Council Vote on Plastic Bags

On May 23, 2012, the Los Angeles City Council voted to order the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to place a ban on plastic retail bags and impose a ten cent tax on paper bags.

The vote set off a process for the City Attorney. The vote did not ban plastic bags.

The facts about plastic bags

  • Plastic bags are 100% recyclable and sanitary. In the United States in 2010, Americans recycled more than 900 million pounds of bags, sacks and wraps, and the rate of recycling has been increasing.
  • Contrary to comments made during this week's council meeting, imported reusable bags cannot be recycled.
  • The United States' plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector employs more than 30,000 people in 349 communities across the nation 1,900 of whom are in California and hundreds in the L.A.-area, whose jobs depend on plastic bag manufacturing and recycling.

Next Steps in L.A.  

  • The City Attorney will begin to draft an ordinance, as directed by the City Council. It is estimated this process will take approximately six to eight months to complete, possibly longer.
  • The City also needs to complete and produce a certified Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the proposed ordinance.
  • The drafted ordinance then must pass the Council's Energy and Environment Committee, and then the full City Council.

Impact on retailers and customers

  • There is no immediate impact on retailers and shoppers. Both paper and plastic bags are and will continue to be viable options at the check-out.
  • Should a paper bag tax become law as discussed in yesterday's council meeting, L.A. shoppers will be charged an additional ten cents per paper bag used.

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 recycling sector, employing 30,800 workers in 349 communities across the nation. 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.


Donna Dempsey 



SOURCE American Progressive Bag Alliance