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Trio of CA Recyclers and Manufacturers Fight Proposed Plastic Bag Ban

The newly formed Responsible Recycling Alliance says bills would roll back state’s environmental gains and kill jobs.

Geoff Giordano

June 28, 2024

2 Min Read
RRA logo
Image courtesy of Responsible Recycling Alliance

A coalition of three California recyclers and manufacturers calling itself the Responsible Recycling Alliance (RRA) has banded in response to a pair of pending state bills that would eliminate reusable plastic film grocery bags.

Being opposed to AB 2236 and SB 1053, the RRA’s founding members — EFS Plastics, Merlin Plastics, and PreZero US ­— instead urge integrating those bags into the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Program established by SB 54 in 2022.

Reusable plastic grocery bags made in California contain at least 40% recycled post-consumer content and can be recycled into new bags and other materials. Consumers typically pay 10 cents per bag.

Negative effect on plastic film recycling.

“AB 2236 and SB 1053 do not result in a more environmentally friendly option,” said Roxanne Spiekerman, vice president of public affairs for PreZero US. “We all share a common goal to protect the environment, and while I am certain that the proponents of these bills have the best of intentions, as written this legislation would roll back environmental gains, make shopping more expensive for low-income Californians, eliminate jobs across California, and make it more difficult for SB 54 to succeed in improving plastic film recycling in the state.”

Related:California Legislators Want to Ban Plastic Bags. Period.

The RRA proposes that adding reusable plastic film bags into SB 54 is California’s more sustainable solution because that would make it easy for residents to collect a variety of plastic bags at sufficient volume to support plastic film recycling.

A commitment to environmentally responsible circularity.

“We’re committed to the best approaches that are supported by research and backed by science,” Spiekerman explained. “Californians have earned the right to the best solution that’s available. We can accomplish our shared goals of great product circularity in an environmentally responsible manner. And it’s important to note that plastic film bag producers, as defined by SB 54, are the ones who will pay to fund the plastics collection infrastructure and the system-wide improvements necessary to ensure that plastic film is recycled.”

EFS converts household waste plastics into reprocessed resins. Merlin recycles and processes post-consumer and post-industrial plastic packaging. PreZero US is the North American arm of a European environmental services company that provides recycling services and manufactures reusable plastic bags.

About the Author(s)

Geoff Giordano

Geoff Giordano is a tech journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in all facets of publishing. He has reported extensively on the gamut of plastics manufacturing technologies and issues, including 3D printing materials and methods; injection, blow, micro and rotomolding; additives, colorants and nanomodifiers; blown and cast films; packaging; thermoforming; tooling; ancillary equipment; and the circular economy. Contact him at [email protected].

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