News & Events

California Senate Rejects Costly Proposal to Ban Plastic Bags (AB 1998) - Custom Environmental Bag Update

On August 31, 2010, the senate majority agreed that a ban on single use plastic bags would further burden California's fragile economy and ultimately increase the negative impacts on the environment.
Having devoted significant resources to combat the industry misinformation through Command's ( parent company) integrated environmental recycling center (CPR3) programs and bags, Command Packaging applauds the Senate for rejecting the costly plastic bag ban proposal (AB 1998). Command takes great pride in leading the industry towards waste diversion, and the proposed ban would have clouded their positive recycling efforts.

The defeated plastic bag ban proposal (AB 1998), which passed the Assembly in June, would have eliminated single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies starting in 2012, and in liquor stores and convenience stores in 2013. The bill, which was rejected by the Senate, would have destroyed at least 1,000 jobs in CA during a time when California's unemployment rates are at its highest. The plastic bag ban bill would have encouraged consumers to buy taxable, non-recyclable imported reusable bags (majority are also made from non-woven plastic) or pay another hidden tax of up to 6 cents for paper shopping bags.
During an interview with NBC News, Pete Grande, president and CEO of Command Packaging stated that the ban would '' ...result in switch to paper bags that have a significant [ larger ] carbon footprint than plastic.'' Jennifer Bjorklund, KNBC reporter added, '' ...and paper bags would be the fall back for people who forget their reusable bags, which is often the case for most people. In stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods which have already banned plastic bags all on their own, that's been found to be the case.''
NBC News Clip: Interview with Pete Grande
Watch the news clip on NBC.
ABC News reported, ''Republicans and some Democrats opposed the bill, saying it would have added an extra financial burden on consumers and businesses already facing tough times.'' View ABC News report.

If consumers truly want to reduce plastic waste and lower their carbon footprint, the best long-term solution is to choose bags and other packaging materials focused on diverting recyclables into both reusable and 100% recyclable features made locally in the US. Bags should be more than just reused, they need to be recyclable at the end of their life. Otherwise, we're trading one form of packaging for another at a higher cost to the consumers and the environment. At the end of the bags' life cycle, the bags should be recyclable in current infrastructures widely available to the public (majority of non-woven reusable bags are not recyclable).

The CA courts continue to overthrow local cities' own attempts to ban plastic bags because the bans are largely based on misinformation. Pete Grande, along with Save The Plastic Bag Coalition have forced the issue in several CA courts to prove their case. Armed with the facts, they've managed to overturn every appeal (i.e. Manhattan Beach, CA, court appeals to ban plastic bags have been overthrown twice).

Additional coverage on this story:

California plastic bag ban vote falls really flat in late vote.

NBC News

ABC News


The Sacramento Bee (free registration)

USA Today

Huffington Post


Media contact:
Julieun Kawasaki
323.446.3304 |

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