Contact: Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623  

City Council Missed Opportunity to Lead on Recycling and Green Jobs

AUSTIN, T.X. (August 5, 2011) - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today responded to the Austin City Council's passage of a resolution to phase out plastic bags. If enacted, the measure would ban free, convenient plastic shopping bags. The following statement can be attributed to Shari Jackson, director of the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council.  

"The Austin City Council's decision to phase out plastic carryout bags will not only jeopardize Texas manufacturing jobs, eliminate consumer choice and threaten the plastic bag recycling infrastructure," Jackson said, "But council members also missed out on an opportunity to further increase recycling of plastic bags and wraps and potentially expand green jobs in sectors that rely on this material to make new products from recycled plastics.

"Austin's very own plastic bag recycling pilot program showed promising success; retailers reported a 74 percent increase in the amount of bags and wraps returned to Austin area stores for recycling-along with dry-cleaning bags, newspaper bags and plastic wraps from bread, paper towels, cases of soda and more. We need to build on this success, not burden residents with a punitive policy.

"The recycling of plastic bags and wraps reached a record high across the United States in 2009, with more than 855 million pounds of this valuable material recycled to make durable backyard decks, shopping carts and new bags. That's a 31 percent increase in the recycling of plastic bags and wraps since 2005.

Plastic Bag Facts  |  Progressive Bag Affiliates (PBA) | Plastic Bag Recycling


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