April 5, 2010
The Honorable Julia Brownley
Member of the Assembly
Sacramento, California 95814
AB 1998 (Brownley) – OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED
Set for hearing, April 12, 2010 – Assembly Natural Resources Committee
Dear Assembly Member Brownley:
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has taken an “oppose unless amended” position on your AB
1998, legislation that would, among other things, prohibit specified retailers from providing customers
with fully recyclable plastic bags.
Though ACC supports the intent of your legislation to reduce plastic bag litter and waste, we believe that
the most appropriate policy – both environmentally and economically – is to focus on increasing and
promoting the recycling infrastructure so that bags and other films plastics can be collected and used as
feedstock in the production of other products, such as new bags, pallets, containers, crates, and pipe.
FACTS REGARDING PLASTIC BAG/FILM RECYCLING
Some proponents of banning plastic bags allege that “only 5% of bags” are recycled. This statement is
factually incorrect. In 2008 over 832 million pounds of plastic bags and wraps were recycled,
representing a 28 percent increase in only a few years. According to the United State Environmental
Protection Agency, the recycling of polyethylene bags and wraps reached 12 percent in 2007.
In addition, a survey of recyclers and material recovery facilities in Los Angeles County, conducted by the
Plastics Recycling Corp. of California (PRRC) in December of 2008 revealed that in a one year period
(2007‐2008) the volume of plastic bags/film recycled increased by over 2.2 million pounds.
In addition, an article in the The Herald (“Monterey Peninsula: Plastic bag recycling gets easier,
November 11, 2009) indicated that an increased emphasis on bag recycling programs in Monterey
County showed positive results including “a 75 percent increase in recycled plastic film from the first
quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of