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.
A canvas tote bag needs to be reused at least 131 times to have a lower impact than a plastic bag used once.
Bans can increase costs, making it hard for businesses to comply – especially hitting small businesses.
The manufacturing process for paper bags uses 3 times more water and emits 2 times more greenhouse gases than plastic grocery bags.
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 Zachary Taylor is featured in a recent WTEN news segment on New York’s plastic bag ban. The segment details the chaos and confusion surrounding the statewide plastic bag ban ahead of enforcement, which is set to begin on Oct. 19. Taylor said the law “included a prohibition on plastic carry out bags unless a bag was an exempt bag. The law was written in such a way that it would prohibit essentially any bag made of plastic” including reusable bags. He also stated that the legislature should step in and fix the unworkable law.
In a recent NorthJersey.com opinion column, ARPBA’s Zachary Taylor discusses the plastic and paper bag ban legislation making its way through the New Jersey Legislature. This legislation is the nation’s most restrictive bag ban, which will impose new costs on those who can least afford it amidst the ongoing public health crisis and economic downturn.
ARPBA’s Zachary Taylor penned a letter to the editor praising policymakers and businesses for erring on the side of caution and suspending plastic bag regulations, which ensured that retailers, frontline workers and consumers had peace of mind during the pandemic. “In New Jersey, the bag ban that activists are pushing misses the mark, preventing retailers from offering the only product that delivers both reassurance and the least environmental impacts: the plastic retail bag.”