Chicago, Illinois, April 29, 2014 - SPI, the Plastics Industry Trade Association released a statement today saying that Chicago's proposed plastic bag ban is a job killer.
SPI opposes the partial plastic bag ban which was approved by Chicago City Council's Environmental Committee last week. The proposed ordinance will be voted on tomorrow, Wed., April 30, by the full City Council.
“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.
According to a Sun-Times report last week, the sponsor of Chicago's ordinance, Proco Joe Moreno was quoted as saying, "There is no evidence - none, zero - from any country, state or city that has enacted similar bans of any job loss".
Indeed, we reported the same conclusion when Los Angeles was in the bag ban process. During that time, the plastics industry made the same statement. See: Jobs Lost From L.A. City Bag Ban.
“Banning plastic bags in Chicago will have a negative impact on all sectors of the city’s population,” continued Carteaux. “Reduce, reuse and recycle are much better options.”
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. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the recycling rate of polyethylene bags increased 23.8 percent from 2009 to 2010.
I agree with recycling. I believe recycling is the only true way to dispose of plastic bags. However, even with the 23.8% increase in the recycling rate of plastics as stated above, the latest stats from the EPA says only 12% of plastic bags are recycled.(1) Year after year, Americans are unwilling to recycle. Citizens simply will not take the necessary steps to recycle plastic bags. EPA's stats prove that fact.
Therefore, the conclusion arrived at by many jurisdictions is plainly "in your face". Plastic bags must be taken away from Americans.
Cover photo: Chicago's Navy Pier. Released into public domain by author: Knutaril.