Contact: Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623
Measure Increases Grocery Costs and Threatens Recycling Infrastructure
WASHINGTON, DC (May 3, 2011) -
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today expressed strong disappointment with the Montgomery County Council's passage of a regressive tax on plastic and paper shopping bags. The following statement can be attributed to Shari Jackson, director of the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council.
"It's unfortunate that the County Council would take this approach. Plastic bags are fully recyclable and instead of entertaining recycling partnerships and programs, the County Council chose a policy that punishes families by raising grocery costs unnecessarily.
"There's no need to burden consumers with a punitive new tax in this difficult economy. Recycling is a solution that's already working. There are more than 12,000 plastic bag recycling bins at grocers and retailers across the country, and many national chains like Target, Wal-Mart and Lowe's now offer collection bins at their stores. These bins accept plastic grocery bags bread bags, produce bags, and the newspaper bags. They also take plastic product wraps, like around paper towels and diapers. In 2009 over 850 million pounds of used plastic bags and wraps were recycled, that's a 31 percent increase since 2005.
"In Montgomery County, bags and wraps are not collected curbside so the bag tax could also have the unintended effect of dismantling this necessary at-store recycling infrastructure.
"We support programs aimed at increasing the recycling of plastic bags and wraps as a workable alternative approach.
"A growing number of states and cities around the United States - including California, New York, Delaware, Rhode Island, Chicago, New York City and Tucson - have passed legislation to promote at-store recycling programs as a practical and effective means to reduce waste from plastic bags and wraps without adding burdensome costs to consumers."
Plastic Bag Facts
Progressive Bag Affiliates