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Portland’s plastic bag ban criticized

The Portland city council voted to expand the city’s plastic bag ban, impacting retailers larger than 10,000 sq. ft. on March 1, 2013, and the remaining retailers on October 1, 2013.

The following is a statement from Mark Daniels, chair of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, an organization representing the United States’ plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector, which employs 30,800 workers in 349 communities across the nation – whose jobs depend on plastic bag manufacturing and recycling.

“The expansion of Portland’s bag ban will continue to have a negative impact on consumers, and, ironically, the environment. Portland residents will be forced to purchase even more reusable bags which cannot be recycled, are predominately imported from China, and have been proven to harbor dangerous bacteria. Those interested in real solutions to reducing litter and protecting the environment should pursue scientifically sound, common sense policies – ones that encourage a comprehensive statewide recycling solution that address all forms of plastic bags, sacks and wraps – instead of targeting one product that makes up a fraction of a percent of the waste stream.”