Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Action Alert for California - AB 2058 Needs Help!

The American Chemistry Council and bag manufacturers are digging into their deep pockets to fund a campaign against AB 2058 (Plastic Bag Litter Reduction Act). They are spreading misinformation about the environmental and societal impacts of reducing plastic bag usage. For the first time, California has the chance to pass the most aggressive policy to reduce plastic bag consumption. We can’t allow the American Chemistry Council and others to use their large budgets to spread misinformation to legislators and the public.


Under AB 2058, large grocery stores and pharmacies would be required to charge a 25 cent fee for plastic grocery bags, the proceeds of which would be used for local litter abatement, cleanup and prevention programs. This fee-based approach has encouraged shoppers to bring their own reusable bags and has reduced plastic bag consumption in Ireland by over 90%.

Tell your legislator to SUPPORT AB 2058. Let your legislator know that all Californians want to protect their community from plastic bag pollution. Please take a few moments to fill out this form with sample letter and we will hand deliver your letter to legislative offices in Sacramento. www.healthebay.org/alert/ab2058

Myths versus Facts

Myth #1: This proposed law is a tax.
Fact: AB 2058 is NOT a tax, it’s “fee by choice”. You can CHOOSE not pay 25 cents if you just remember BYOB: Bring Your Own Bag.

Myth #2: This proposed law will hurt low-income consumers.
Fact: AB 2058 can actually help low-income consumers SAVE money and clean up plastic bag blight in their communities. Under AB 2058, proceeds from the revenue can also be spent on reusable bag giveaway programs.
• Low-income communities are burdened by the blight caused by plastic bag litter in their communities. Los Angeles County spends $18 million per year on litter prevention, cleanup and enforcement activities—tax dollars that could’ve otherwise been invested in public safety, libraries and parks.
• The plastic bag industry is already making a profit off of low-income families that pay upwards of $18 per year in “hidden costs.” Each time you get a plastic bag at the grocery store, you pay 2-5 cents that is already embedded in the price of goods.

Myth #3: There is no need for this law because plastic bags are fully recyclable.
Fact: While plastic bags are recyclable, less than 5% actually get recycled despite aggressive efforts to educate the public and implement recycling programs. California currently spends $25 million per year to landfill plastic bag litter. The quantity of plastic marine debris is rising and WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO RECYCLE OUR WAY OUT OF THIS PROBLEM.