[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Californians to Decide Fate of Plastic Bag Ban | 10-25-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
76°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 26
1946 - Open-casket service for William S. Hart at his Newhall home; Rudy Vallee sings "The Last Round-up" [story]


[CN] – While plastic bag manufacturers bill Proposition 67 as a simple referendum on a 2014 California law banning stores from giving customers plastic bags at checkout, some are calling the ballot initiative a ploy by the industry to slow the momentum of similar bans across the nation.

After Gov. Jerry Brown signed off on the statewide ban two years ago, the plastic industry blocked its implementation by putting it to a popular vote through Proposition 67. A “yes” vote on the measure would uphold the bag ban; a “no” vote would repeal it.

plasticbagsAlthough the statewide ban has been shelved until after Election Day, about 150 cities and counties around the state encompassing 40 percent of the population have enacted their own bans on single-use plastic bags. Californians seem to favor an all-out ban, with polls predicting the measure passing by a comfortable margin.

If it does fail and the statewide ban is repealed, local bans will remain in place.

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, Americans used 102 billion plastic bags in 2008. Backers of Proposition 67 say many of those bags end up in the water, where animals get tangled in them or eat them and die. Researchers estimate that 90 percent of the world’s seabirds and 50 percent of its sea turtles have eaten plastic bags.

Proponents says bag bans reduce the number of bags that get into the water. According to a report issued by the city of San Jose, the number of bags found in creeks fell by 76 percent and by 69 percent in storm drains after the city outlawed single-use plastic bags in 2012.

“Bag bans work,” ocean conservation group Surfrider Foundation told Courthouse News in an email.

But the plastics industry sees a more sinister narrative at play, contending that the 2014 statewide ban’s requirement that stores also charge 10 cents for a paper bag or a reusable plastic bag is a “sweetheart deal” that will funnel $300 million into grocers’ pockets as a reward for donating large sums of money to Sacramento politicians. The industry wants that money to be put into a state-administered environmental fund for beach cleanup and litter removal projects instead.

“It’s an enormous special-interest payoff to grocers,” said Jon Berrier, a spokesman for the plastic industry’s trade group American Progressive Bag Alliance. “No matter how you feel about plastic bag bans, we wanted people to focus in on what is the most egregious part of this bill. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being reaped off bag fees by grocers, and consumers want those fees to go to a public purpose.”

That’s where Proposition 65 comes in. A companion measure to Proposition 67, this measure would redirect the 10-cent bag fee stores get to an environmental fund administered by the California Wildlife Conservation Board if the bag ban is upheld.

Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for the Yes on 67 campaign, disagreed with the No camp’s assessment.

“This is not a profit-making enterprise,” he said. “Otherwise, grocers would have been supportive of these bans from day one at the local level.”

Grocers threw their support behind the state ban after a proliferation of local bans began causing logistical problems for the industry.

“It came to a point where it made more sense” to have a uniform policy, Maviglio said.

The 10-cent fee, he said, was meant to help grocers recoup their losses on paper bags, which can cost them between 6 and 16 cents.

Maviglio believes the plastic industry put the statewide ban to a vote to punish California grocers for supporting it, in the hope that grocers in other states won’t back similar ones. The industry has been working to outlaw bans across the nation, suing towns in Texas that have passed bans and lobbying politicians in Arizona, Idaho and Missouri to pass laws prohibiting plastic bag bans, he said.

“It’s very clear they wanted to punish the grocers for supporting the bag ban because it’s going on in a number of states and communities,” Maviglio said of the four out-of-state plastics companies behind the dual initiatives.

Those companies have given the American Progressive Bag Alliance $6 million to fight Proposition 67, accounting for 97 percent of the group’s contributions, according to campaign financing tracker MapLight.

Despite Proposition 65 earmarking bag fee revenue for environmental projects, the Surfrider Foundation expressed doubts about the motivation of the plastic industry in sponsoring it.

“Prop. 65 claims to support the environment – by directing an insignificant amount of revenue from the purchases of paper bags to a new state environmental fund,” the foundation said in its email. “It’s actually an attempt by the plastic bag industry to distract from Prop. 67, which by law appears at the end of the ballot.”

But the plastic industry says bag bans don’t reduce the amount of plastic floating in the ocean. Plastic bags make up less than one percent of all litter, with the majority of marine litter comprised of fishing line and gear, according to its spokesman Berrier.

And while the Surfrider Foundation estimates that less than 5 percent of plastic bags are recycled, Berrier said Americans recycle 15 percent of their single-use plastic bags, preventing them from ever becoming litter.

“The idea that banning this particular product is going to have a meaningful reduction of litter going into our waterways is just false,” Berrier said.

Contrary to the plastic industry’s assertion, however, up to 80 percent of marine litter is comprised of plastic, according to a 2002 study published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin. And a World Economic Forum report released earlier this year estimates there are over 150 million tons of plastic in the ocean right now, and said if plastic bag practices don’t change there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

“This is a trend that we can’t ignore,” the Surfrider Foundation said. “We need this legislation to protect wildlife.”

Those numbers are resonating with Californians. An October poll conducted by the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State University found that 45 percent of likely voters favor Proposition 67, while 39 percent oppose it and 16 percent remain undecided.

And in what might be a sign that single-use plastic bags could soon be history, Novolex, South Carolina’s plastic bag behemoth and Proposition 67’s largest funder, bought a paper bag manufacturer in 2014 to deflect a downgrade of its credit rating by Moody’s for remaining ensconced in the “low-growth” plastic bag market.

“They can read the writing on the wall,” Maviglio said.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. waterwatcher says:

    Prop 65 is the out of state bag industries’ ploy (worse than a Halloween “trick”) to confuse the voters and keep plastic bags around. Not only do they harm wildlife, but they fill up our landfills with an item that is on average used once for around 12 minutes. And since they are made from petroleum products, they also create air pollution when they are manufactured. It is so easy to bring your own bag to the grocery store. Let’s all say no to pollution, and yes to saving our wildlife. This means no of 65 and Yes on 67.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
Related Content
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Sunday, Jun 25, 2017
Updated: Placerita Fire Burns 870 Acres; Disney Cabins Lost (Video)
Firefighters battle a fast-moving blaze that consumed 850 acres Sunday afternoon and destroyed structures on the Disney movie ranch in Placerita Canyon. Sparked by a car crash, the fire threatened homes on both sides of the 14 Freeway.
Sunday, Jun 25, 2017
Oak of Golden Dream Saved from Fire; Park Entrance Scorched
The historic Oak of the Golden Dream and the Walker Cabin were threatened by Sunday's fire but were saved by fire crews. The entryway to the park, the upper parking lot and part of the Butterfly Garden were charred.
Friday, Jun 23, 2017
Two Suspects Arrested During Burglary Suppression Operations
Burglary suppression operations helped Santa Clarita deputies nab a pair of alleged burglars breaking into a Valencia realty office Friday, officials said.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1946 - Open-casket service for William S. Hart at his Newhall home; Rudy Vallee sings "The Last Round-up" [story]
Firefighters battle a fast-moving blaze that consumed 850 acres Sunday afternoon and destroyed structures on the Disney movie ranch in Placerita Canyon. Sparked by a car crash, the fire threatened homes on both sides of the 14 Freeway.
Updated: Placerita Fire Burns 870 Acres; Disney Cabins Lost (Video)
The historic Oak of the Golden Dream and the Walker Cabin were threatened by Sunday's fire but were saved by fire crews. The entryway to the park, the upper parking lot and part of the Butterfly Garden were charred.
Oak of Golden Dream Saved from Fire; Park Entrance Scorched
The Antiquities Act does not give a president the authority to revoke a national monument from a previous administration, but a sitting president can change the boundaries of a national monument. Under congressional authority, Congress can also convert a national monument to a national park, which has been done on several occasions.
The Scoop on National Monuments | Commentary by Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in L.A. County; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Heritage Junction [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the Santa Clarita Deputies’s Commercial burglary operation caught two suspects. Plus, the Saxtravaganza returns to Hart Hall. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, June 23, 2017
The California Wilderness Coalition applauds Rep. Judy Chu for introducing legislation to protect more than 31,000 acres of Wilderness and nearly 46 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers in southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains.
House Bill Would Protect Portions of Angeles National Forest
Los Angeles County’s cannabis regulation efforts have entered an important new phase with the convening of a diverse advisory group made up of health and policy experts, community leaders, cannabis industry representatives and other key stakeholders.
L.A. County Cannabis Advisory Team Begins Work in June
An al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula senior leader was killed in Yemen’s Shabwah governorate by a June 16 U.S. airstrike, U.S. Central Command said in a release.
Senior al-Qaida Leader Killed by U.S. Airstrike
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has announced that California will prohibit state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas based on discriminatory legislation enacted in each state.
California Prohibits State-Funded Travel to Four States
Circle of Hope is growing. In an effort to expand the scope of the nonprofit's aid to local cancer sufferers, the originally breast-cancer-only organization added additional cancers to its Client Advocacy Program over the past few years, including the most recent, malignant melanoma.
Circle of Hope Announces New Logo
Princess Cruises has announced that Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li, will serve as Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors for Princess Cruises in China and officially name the new Majestic Princess during a ceremony and gala celebration.
Princess Cruises to Name Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors in China
The Moorpark Unified School District is very pleased to announce the employment of Ms. Anne Gibson as Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.
SCV Resident Named a Moorpark Assistant Superintendent
Burglary suppression operations helped Santa Clarita deputies nab a pair of alleged burglars breaking into a Valencia realty office Friday, officials said.
Two Suspects Arrested During Burglary Suppression Operations
According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in East San Gabriel Valley, San Gabriel Mountains and Santa Clarita Valley tomorrow, Saturday, June 23.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley on Sunday, June 25, and Monday, June 26.
High Heat Alert for SCV Sunday and Monday
Nearly a dozen productions including commercials, features, TV shows and a student project are shooting in Santa Clarita next week.
Filming in SCV June 26-July 2: Commercials, Features, TV
As the Fourth of July approaches, the city of Santa Clarita, the SCV Sheriff’s Station and the County Fire Department want to send the clear message that the city has zero tolerance for fireworks.
Santa Clarita Has Zero Tolerance for All Fireworks
Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25), along with Rep Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), introduced legislation, H.R. 3033, the Aeronautics Innovation Act of 2017, which would create funding and programmatic stability for NASA.
Knight Introduces Aeronautics Innovation Act of 2017
Organizers of the 5th annual SCV Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 7 are seeking additional sponsorships from Santa Clarita Valley companies and business owners.
Business Sponsorships Sought for SCV Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Here's a roundup of crimes now being investigated by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detectives in Newhall, Zone 3:
Blotter: Newhall, Zone 6 – 06/12/17 to 06/18/17
Agenda for the Santa Clarita City Council's regular meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, June 27, starting at 5:30 p.m.
June 27: Santa Clarita City Council Regular Meeting
Agenda for the Santa Clarita City Council's Special Meeting, City Hall Chambers, Tuesday, June 27 at 5:30 p.m.
June 27: Santa Clarita City Council Special Meeting
Agenda for the Arts Commission Study Session June 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Century Room at City Hall.
June 26: Agenda for Arts Commission Study Session
The Lancaster JetHawks hit three home runs and took a 7-5 lead to the ninth, but the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes rallied for an 8-7 victory to open the season's second half on Thursday night at The Hangar.
JetHawks Drop Second Half Opener to Quakes Thursday
Stevenson Ranch: Zone 3, Public Safety Report for the week of 06/12/17 to 06/18/17.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Vandalism in Stevenson Ranch
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall home and 80-acre estate to L.A. County [story]
June 30 is the deadline for Santa Clarita residents to submit entries to the city's quarterly photo contest.
June 30: Last Day to Enter City’s Summer Photo Contest
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a road rage incident is caught on camera. Plus, local deputies work on a crime suppression operation. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, June 22, 2017
Olympian Alysia Montaño, a graduate of Canyon High School and a seven-time national champion, is competing in the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships as she did in 2014 -- while pregnant.
Olympian Alysia Montaño Races Pregnant for a Second Time
A road rage incident on Highway 14 near Newhall Avenue Wednesday morning resulted in a two-car crash and a motorcyclist who remains at large, according to CHP officials.
CHP Seeks Motorcyclist in Road Rage Crash
While Mark Bradford and Sharon Lockhart represent the United States and Poland, respectively, in the prestigious Venice Bienniale (La Biennale di Venezia), two other CalArtians' work is also on view there.
CalArtians Danz and Rosero in 57th Biennale International Art Exhibition
CalArts has named Dimitri Chamblas, former artistic director of the Paris Opera’s creative digital platform 3rd Scene, as the new Dean of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance.
CalArts Names Dimitri Chamblas Dean of Lund School of Dance
Los Angeles County supervisors have scheduled a special meeting on Monday, June 26, to consider final approval of the county's $30 million-plus 2017-18 budget.
June 26: County Weighs Budget, Expecting State and Federal Cuts
Bond oversight legislation authored by California State Senator Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley) has been given the thumbs-up by the Assembly Education Committee.
Wilk School Bond Oversight Bill Clears Assembly Policy Committee