FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2014
Contact: Kelley Smithey: 916-288-2219
CALIFORNIA PLASTIC BAG MANUFACTURERS, WORKERS, AND COMMUNITY LEADERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST PLASTIC BAG BAN
SACRAMENTO – Representatives and workers from California plastic bag manufacturing and recycling companies, along with community leaders and elected officials convened at the State Capitol today to call on the State Legislature to reject SB 270 (Padilla), which would ban 100 percent recyclable plastic retail bags and allow grocers to charge a minimum 10-cents for paper and thicker plastic bags.
“This is not an environmental bill,” said Mark Daniels, Chairman of the American Progressive Bag Alliance and Senior Vice President for Sustainability and Environmental Policy at Hilex Poly. “It’s a billion dollar cash grab by the powerful big grocer lobby at the expense of the citizens of California and the nearly two thousand manufacturing workers in this state.”
The delegation also cited a recent financial report (attached) by a former California State Finance Director – the report found that if SB 270 is implemented, the members of the California Grocers Association – supporters of the bill – could expect new annual profits in the range of $189 million to $442 million. Over the course of just a few years, these profits would amount to billions of dollars.
“Beyond the misleading environmental arguments used to promote SB 270, this bill is a bad deal that will hurt California workers and consumers while profiting major grocery chains,” said Cathy Browne, General Manager at Crown Poly. “There can be a more balanced solution.”
“As a single mother, my job helps me to provide for my children. It allows me to buy groceries and keep a home for them,” said Elicia Ortiz, a Crown Poly employee. “And my job also provides me with very good health insurance. This is important for me because one of my children has a serious eye condition. If I don’t have this insurance, I will not be able to afford the treatments because it costs hundreds of dollars each time we go to the doctor.”
Today’s event included representatives from Hilex Poly; Spectrum Bugs in Cerritos; E & A Paper and Plastics in Whittier; Dura Bag in Tustin; Elkay Plastics in Commerce; Sigma Plastics in La Puente; Marantz and Associates in Vernon; Metro Poly Bag in San Leandro; and Crown Poly in Huntington Park. Respected community leaders also participated in order to voice their concerns over SB 270’s impact on workers and consumers.
“This bill is nothing more than a corporate cash grab that will kill jobs and burden consumers,” said Adrian Dove, Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality. “SB 270 is a disgusting attempt to take from those who don’t have and give more to those who already have it.”
“I meet with my constituents regularly to discuss all sorts of community issues, and they just don’t care about banning plastic bags,” said Aide Castro, Mayor of the City of Lynwood. “This effort is yet another attempt by Sacramento politicians to funnel even more profits to corporate grocers. It’s not about the environment.”
The delegation also met with members of the State Legislature and hand-delivered boxes of SB 270 opposition letters to Senator Padilla’s office, signed by hundreds of the nearly 2,000 Californians directly supported by the state’s plastic bag manufacturing industry.
For more information, please visit www.bagthebancalifornia.com.