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.

Plastic bags require 70% less energy to manufacture and consume 96% less water than what’s used to make paper bags.

There are nearly 30,000 grocery stores and retailers across the U.S. with in-store drop-off points where shoppers can return their 100 percent recyclable plastic bags.

The conventional plastic bag is the one with the least environmental impacts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find a Recycling Center

Other ways to get involved:

Hold a recycling event

In the News

Perspective: The unfortunate politics of plastics in a pandemic

June 29, 2020 by Plastics News

In this op-ed, ARPBA’s Matt Seaholm discusses the unfortunate politics of plastics in a pandemic. When bag bans and taxes were suspended due to the pandemic, people and organizations falsely accused the plastics industry of lobbying to roll back plastic bag restrictions and ban reusable bags. While concerns about the contamination of reusable bags are nothing new, elected and officials and grocery stores took steps at the beginning of the pandemic to protect supermarket employees by relaxing bag laws and, in some cases, prohibiting reusable bags. Seaholm also states that while activist organizations are pushing to ban plastics, there is much middle ground to be found on the issue, such as recycled content requirements and expanding/improving recycling infrastructure.

Pandemic pause on plastic bag regulations a concern for recyclers

June 9, 2020 by WasteDive

A recent WasteDive article discusses the impact of plastic bag regulation rollbacks on recyclers. The article notes that the plastics industry sees the pandemic as proof that single-use items are important for public health. “If I had a hope of what this does, it changes the dialogue a little bit,” said Matt Seaholm, executive director for the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance. Conversations around plastics often involve a “binary choice” that leaves out solutions like expanding recycling infrastructure while maintaining plastic as a part of public life, Seaholm told Waste Dive. “Maybe banning them is not the right way to go,” he said.

Plastics in the time of pandemic

May 26, 2020 by POLITICO

This POLITICO article details the rollback of plastic bag regulations across the country during the pandemic. Matt Seaholm, executive director of the American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance, says the industry isn’t trying to capitalize on the pandemic. However, the outbreak is likely to shift the policy debate away from the all-or-nothing push for bans. “It’s raised awareness of a very important unintended consequence that is presented by plastic bag bans. You’ve got grocery store workers who are literally on the front lines of this pandemic for the last couple months, they’re the ones saying, ‘Hey, don’t bring in any reusable bags.’”

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