The conventional plastic bag is the one with the least environmental impacts.
The Frontline Defense Against Plastic Bag Bans and Taxes Nationwide
The American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance (ARPBA) represents the U.S. plastic bag manufacturing and recycling industry, which employs thousands of workers in 40 states. Founded in 2005, the ARPBA proactively promotes product lines and leads numerous public policy initiatives that serve as the frontline defense against plastic bag bans and taxes nationwide.
With the support of the industry’s workers, the ARPBA promotes American-made plastic products that are the smartest, most environmentally friendly choice at the checkout counter for both retailers and consumers.
Once disposed, reusable bags take up to 9.3% more space than plastic bags in landfills.
American-made plastic bags are produced from byproducts of natural gas, not oil
A canvas tote bag needs to be reused at least 131 times to have a lower impact than a plastic bag used once.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes – Plastic bags are 100% reusable and recyclable.
According to Recyc-Quebec, a Canadian government agency:
Cotton or canvas bags need to be reused between 100 and 2,954 times.
Reusable woven polypropylene bags need to be reused between 16 to 98 times.
Reusable non-woven polypropylene bags need to be reused 11 to 59 times.
According to the UK Environment Agency:
Paper bags need to be reused 3 times.
Reusable non-woven polypropylene bags need to be reused 11 times.
Cotton or canvas bags need to be reused 131 times.
According to the Denmark Environmental Protection Agency:
Paper bags need to be reused 43 times.
Reusable non-woven polypropylene bags need to be reused 52 times.
Reusable woven polypropylene bags need to be reused 45 times.
Conventional cotton bags need to be reused 7,100 times.
Organic cotton bags need to be reused 20,000 times.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 35,000 people.
No – multiple cities across the country have discovered that plastic bag bans create problems rather than solve them. When consumers are forced to use replacement bags – which are often made of thicker, heavier plastic – that contributes more to waste than the typical plastic grocery bag.
Yes – especially small businesses. Bans can increase costs, making it hard for businesses to comply.
Use our Find My Recycling Center tool to learn where you can recycle your bags.
Your plastic bags may get a new life as eco-friendly raw material for playgrounds, construction materials and new plastic bags.
No – plastic bags are reused by Americans every day. Plastic bags are also 100% recyclable.
In the News
ARPBA’s Matt Seaholm joins Morano in the Morning on WABC to discuss New York’s bag ban and the misinformation about 100% recyclable plastic retail bags
On August 28, 2020, Matt Seaholm, former executive director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance, joined Frank Morano on WABC’s Morano in the Morning to discuss the status of New York’s plastic bag ban.
“It’s just unworkable.” ARPBA’s Matt Seaholm joins the Paul Vandenburgh Show on Talk1300 to discuss New York’s plastic bag ban
Matt Seaholm, former executive director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance, joined the Paul Vandenburgh Show on Talk1300 to discuss New York’s plastic bag ban. In the interview, Seaholm explains that retailers are confused about what bags are allowed and frustrated because the law would increase their costs during a public health crisis.
New York state officials are scrambling to figure out whether grocers and retailers can hand out reusable plastic bags, or whether the state law prohibiting single-use plastic bags needs reworking. The law says that stores can’t distribute “any plastic carryout bags” to customers. Matt Seaholm, vice president of government affairs for the Plastics Industry Association and former executive director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance, said, “Saying ‘plastic’ is like saying ‘metal’ when you’re referring to aluminum, and that’s where the issue comes in.” Seaholm said nearly all reusable bags have some sort of plastic in them, leaving business owners in a legal gray area. “Every grocer, every retailer is saying we will comply with the law, but the law is broken.”