FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2014
Contact: Ioannis Kazanis, Phone: 916-505-1891
SACRAMENTO – Representatives and workers from California plastic bag manufacturing and recycling companies, along with seniors and community leaders, 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 bill has nothing to do with the environment. It is a cash grab by corporate grocery shareholders and the whole thing is being helped along by Senator Padilla,” said Gary Halvorsen, Western Region Sales Manager at Crown Poly. “All that’s going to happen if SB 270 passes is that consumers will pay more at the checkout and 2,000 plastic bag industry workers, including the 300 I work with at Crown Poly, could be left without a job.”
The delegation also cited a recent financial report by a former California State Finance Director, which found that if SB 270 is implemented, the members of the California Grocers Association, who support 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.
“As a veteran, it hasn’t been easy to find a good-paying job, and that’s why I don’t want to lose mine now,” said Rashied Yuille, a Crown Poly employee. “So I want to know why Senator Padilla is doing this, because if you’re going to take my job away, I at least deserve to know why. And if it’s so grocers can make even more money than they already do, just come out with it. But don’t offend me and every other person in this state by saying it’s about the environment.”
“Thanks to the fees on paper and thicker plastic bags the grocers are going to make billions off SB 270, with not a single cent going to public purposes like environmental programs, recycling initiatives, or beach clean ups,” said Alex Jimenez of E & A Paper and Plastic. “The grocers get to keep all the cash. And they’ll have Senator Padilla to thank for it. So let’s hope the rest of the legislature knows better and uses common sense.”
Today’s event included representatives from Hilex Poly; E & A Paper and Plastic in Whittier; Marantz and Associates in Vernon; and Crown Poly in Huntington Park. More than 40 seniors and respected community leaders also participated in order to voice their concerns over SB 270’s impact on workers and consumers.
“I hear from people in my community all the time and do you know what they’ve been talking about lately? They’re upset. Actually, they’re fed up with having to pay for bags at the grocery store,” said Adrian Dove, Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality. “But what most people are livid about is that every time they pay for a bag the money goes right into the pockets of the grocers. SB 270 is poorly thought out public policy and a disgusting attempt to take from those who don’t have money and give more to those who already have it.”
Today’s event comes one week after the American Progressive Bag Alliance launched two new television ads in opposition to Senate Bill 270. The first ad, “Clowns,” highlights the ridiculousness and environmental hypocrisy of SB 270, while the second ad, “Scam,” calls out SB 270 as a dirty deal between the bill’s supporters and the California Grocers Association (CGA). To view “Clowns,” go here. To view “Scam,” go here.
For more information, please visit www.bagthebancalifornia.com.