Plastic Bag Ban Fails in Oregon
Plastics News reported this week that a legislative effort to ban single-use plastic carryout bags in Oregon has failed. Supporters of the bill acknowledged June 10 that they did not have the support to enact either measure this year.
The proposed Oregon ban on plastic bags would have been the first statewide ban in the United States. The failed bill also would have placed a 5-cent fee on paper bags at checkouts. Plastic bag manufacturer Hilex Poly Co. LLC had aggressively fought the ban, taking out newspaper and radio commercials and creating a website, www.bagthebanoregon.com.
The Hartsville, S.C., company employs 1,250 and has 30,000 recycling bins in place across the United States, as part of its Bag-2-Bag recycling program that began in 2004. It does not have a bag manufacturing plant or bag recycling facility in Oregon.
Mark Daniels, vice president of sustainability and environmental policy for Hilex Poly, told Plastics News that the company will recycle 25 million pounds of plastic films and plastic shopping bags this year at its recycling plant in North Vernon, Ind. That’s up from the 20 million pounds of film and bags the company recycled in 2010 and the 10 million it recycled in 2009.
There are bans on plastic carryout bags in 22 cities in the U.S., with eight of them enacted this year. In addition, Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Md., have a 5 cent tax on paper and plastic carryout bags. The Montgomery County tax goes into effect Aug. 1; the D.C. tax has been in effect since Jan. 1, 2010. The plastic bag sector employs more than 10,000 people in the United States.
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