The Progressive Bag Alliance (PBA), the California Retailers Association (CRA) and the California Grocers Association (CGA), announced the implementation of the nation‘‘s first statewide plastic bag recycling programme to provide California residents opportunities to easily and conveniently return plastic carryout bags for recycling to the stores which provide them.

On July 1, 2007, a new California law, AB 2449, takes effect requiring certain grocery stores and retail pharmacies with more than 10,000 square feet of retail space to provide at-store recycling programmes for plastic carryout bags. With the law taking effect in less than one month, the PBA is partnering with retailers in California to help make it easier for consumers to recycle plastic bags. The PBA is also working with grocers around the country to put systems in place that facilitate the recycling of plastic bags.

“The bag manufacturing industry is partnering with the retail community to develop practical solutions for recycling in California communities and around the nation,” said Isaac Bazbaz, chairman of the Progressive Bag Alliance. “California has set the stage with landmark legislation that we believe could be an example for voluntary programmes in other states and the public will have a golden opportunity to make this plastic bag recycling programme the standard for the nation.”

AB 2449, the Plastic Bag Recycling Act of 2006, requires that certain grocers and pharmacies provide bins for the collection of plastic bags brought back by customers for recycling. Grocery stores and retail pharmacies are responsible for the collection, transportation and recycling of plastic carryout bags returned to their stores. New receptacles and signage at stores will inform patrons of the programme and encourage them to return clean, dry, empty plastic bags to the store for recycling. A recycling message will be included on all plastic carryout bags to remind customers to return the bags to stores.

The PBA has designed a store “toolkit” to help retailers with public education, employee training and developing recycling systems. A new logo, to be used in certain stores and in a public education campaign, will ask customers to simply bring the bags back to the store for recycling. The PBA‘‘s goal is to work with communities on flexible, cost-effective, end-to-end solutions that facilitate recycling in retail stores.

Neighbourhood retailers comprising the membership of the California Retailers Association and the California Grocers Association are working with the Progressive Bag Alliance on new strategies to encourage consumers to partner with the retail community to recycle carryout bags at their local stores. In fact, many retailers are already accepting plastic bags for recycling. California residents are requested to actively participate by returning clean, dry, empty plastic carryout bags for recycling. Consumers should also check with their local retailer to determine if they accept other types of plastic film for recycling.

The author of AB 2449, Assembly Member Lloyd Levine, said, “Despite the huge advances that we have made in keeping recyclables from our landfills, California still lacks the infrastructure necessary to collect and recycle the 19 billion plastic bags it uses. Right now our plastic bags end up in landfills or destroying the ecosystem of our oceans. With AB 2449 in place, it will make it easier for the consumer to help create a recycling market in California. However, this program only works if everyone helps to educate the public that their bags need to return to the stores.”

Margo Reid Brown, chair of the California Integrated Waste Management Board, said, “Plastic grocery bags have long been a source of litter and debris that has plagued California. The California Integrated Waste Management Board applauds the effor

Ano da Publicação:
WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #25-2007-June 22, 2007
Kit Strange/Warmer Bulletin
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