Industry groups revamp effort to ‘defend’ plastic bags

Trade groups representing the plastics and chemical industries recently announced an expanded effort to “defend plastic bags and increase plastic film recycling.”

In a news release dated December 15, the Plastics Industry Trade Association, also known as SPI, noted that “efforts to ban or tax plastic bags” have become increasingly local. In response, Progressive Bag Affiliates, whose members include the nation’s largest plastic-bag manufacturers, has moved from the American Chemistry Council to SPI and been renamed the American Progressive Bag Alliance. Meanwhile, the chemistry council is introducing a new Flexible Film Recycling Group to promote expanded recycling.

This sector of our industry continues to face extraordinary challenges, predominantly at the local level – exactly where the SPI grassroots network can make an impact,” said William R. Carteaux, the president and CEO of SPI. “By aligning our approaches, SPI and ACC can better marshal and utilize our collective resources to defend this important sector and promote film recycling.”

More than 12,000 in-store collection points currently exist for recycling plastic film, according to the news release.

Ironically, the plastics trade association is based in the District of Columbia, where the city council enacted one of the nation’s first bag fees in 2009. One can only imagine the anguish of the plastics lobbyists when they run out to buy groceries and find themselves charged a nickel apiece for their defenseless plastic bags – rather like the paradox of an earlier era when the National Rifle Association was headquartered in D.C., which has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the nation. (No doubt the NRA folks find the legal climate in Virginia, the current home of NRA headquarters, more conducive to packing heat. Were the plastics trade association to follow suit and decamp to Virginia, it would likewise find a warm welcome. No bag tax there!)


–Wayne Savage


  For further reading: SPI’s December 15 news release.  


Coming soon to the blog: A raw-sewage spill into the Potomac River tests the region’s early-warning system.