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.
Standard reusable cotton grocery bags must be reused 131 times "to ensure that they have lower global warming potential than" a plastic bag used only once.
Since 2005, there has been a 75% increase in plastic film recycling.
In the News
ARPBA Director Zachary Taylor recently penned an op-ed in the Pueblo Chieftain outlining how Colorado’s proposed plastic bag ban misses the mark. The provision to only allow bags with “stitched handles” means that Coloradoans will swap out their American-made, 100%-recyclable plastic grocery bags for more expensive, imported reusable bags that cannot be recycled anywhere in the United States. Also, due to ongoing shortages of both paper bags and reusable bags, costs have skyrocketed. Ultimately, these costs will get passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices. Colorado lawmakers should define a reusable bag based on use and durability, not simply aesthetic qualities.
ARPBA Director Zachary Taylor recently penned an op-ed in the Boston Herald arguing that Massachusetts needs a statewide solution addressing carryout bags in lieu of the 146 local ordinances currently regulating them. He notes that there is a proposal in the state Legislature that would ban all plastic film bags. However, 89 of the 146 communities in Massachusetts that have adopted some type of bag regulation allow for the use of reusable plastic film bags. Taylor also notes that businesses are facing a nationwide paper bag shortage which has led many other states and localities to delay their bag laws. He urges stakeholders to collaborate on a solution that works for grocers, retailers, environmental organizations, and manufacturers.
ARPBA Director Zachary Taylor was quoted in a recent Plastics News article about a proposal in California that would prohibit plastic bags and film from carrying recyclability messaging. According to Taylor, “Removing the word ‘recyclable’ from these bags makes little sense. Ironically, California law mandates reusable plastic film bags must be recyclable, contain 40 percent [post-consumer resin] and have language instructing consumers to recycle them through store takeback programs.” Taylor said the state should put more emphasis on education. “A better approach to improve recycling efficiency is to focus on education programs that reinforce the appropriate place for various materials, not policy changes that will only divert more recyclable materials into the waste stream,” he said.