The real story as to why the plastic bag industry supported Illinois' Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Act. In this press release, the Flexible Packaging Association states that plastic bag manufacturers supported the bill because of the threat of plastic bag bans.
Illinois Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Act
FPA is monitoring proposed Illinois legislation that will “set forth the procedure by which the collection and recycling of plastic bags and film will be accomplished in Illinois.” The legislation imposes many compliance requirements on plastic carryout bag manufacturers including annual registration with state agency, pay an annual registration fee of $500, develop and maintain agency approved recycling plan (including collection and recycling of their plastic bags), submit report describing the weight of plastic carryout bags and plastic film sold and collected for recycling in the previous calendar year, print the name of the manufacturer on the bag.
While the legislation discusses “plastic film product wrap” which includes “polyethylene wrap uses for used to cover, wrap, or otherwise package consumer goods, such as paper towels, bathroom tissue, cases of sodas, diapers and other dry goods.” The key to the legislative requirements is in the definition in the bill of “manufacturer.” Only the manufacturers have to meet the requirements and in this bill “manufacturer means a manufacturer of plastic carryout bags used or distributed in Illinois.” Therefore the manufacturers of plastic film product wrap do not have to meet any of the requirements. FPA confirmed this statement with Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Michael Tryon.
The threat of a plastic carryout bag bans is what has driven The American Progressive Bag Alliance (an organization of retail carry bag manufacturers) to support of the legislation.
The legislation was first introduced last year in Lake County and made its way to the state legislature. It is not clear whether the bill will pass the Illinois House because a super majority is required for passage, it passed the Illinois Senate by one vote. The legislative session ends at the end of May.
For more information, contact:
Marla Donahue, President
Ram Singhal, Vice President, Technology & Environmental Strategy