Environmental Protection

Illinois Governor Delivers Blow to Plastics Recycling Industry

Earlier this summer, the "Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Act," (SB 3442) a measure to promote the collection and recycling of plastic carryout bags and other types of plastic film, passed the Illinois House and Senate. Yesterday, Governor Pat Quinn vetoed this bill.
 
Steve Russell, Vice President of the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division issued the following statement:
 
"America’s plastics makers are deeply disappointed that Governor Quinn has chosen to veto the Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Act—a common-sense measure supported by government and industry alike.
 
"We all agree that more needs to be done to prevent litter, and education and access to recycling coupled with litter prevention programs are proven solutions. Product bans, which are currently being considered in some smaller Illinois jurisdictions, only succeed in replacing one form of litter with another.
 
"The Governor’s veto contradicts a recent study conducted by the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, which determined that recycling bags and film together is an effective policy, and that bag bans would be counterproductive by reducing collection of plastic wraps for recycling.
 
"National studies show that the recycling of plastic bags and wraps—a category of packaging known as 'film'—though relatively new, is growing rapidly. Recent reports document that the recycling of plastic film has climbed 50 percent in just five years to reach nearly one million pounds annually. In addition, more than 91 percent of the U.S. population can recycle their plastic bags locally, and nearly 75 percent of Americans can recycle other types of flexible plastic wraps in addition to bags in their own communities."
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