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May 7, 2020 - APR Statement

APR Statement on California Executive Order That Suspends Ban on Single Use Plastic Bags (Order N-54-20)

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) shares Governor Gavin Newsom’s goal to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.  APR members are operating to serve Californians and our country, and safety always comes first.  Our members follow the guidelines set by the State of California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other relevant state and federal agencies.

On April 27th, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-54-20, which in part temporarily suspended the enforcement of the ban the distribution of single use plastic bags by specified retailers.  It is important to note that the Executive Order did not ban or limit the use of reusable plastic bags nor require retailers to stop using the reusable bags produced by APR members. There continues to be sufficient amount of postconsumer resin (PCR) for APR members to produce reusable bags, and there has been no change in the reasons why these reusable bags are popular: these products are good for the environment and are popular among California’s consumers.  There are also no safety concerns with the inclusion of PCR in reusable bags as long the Cal-OSHA guidelines for consumers using their own bags are followed.

APR encourages retailers to continue to use compliant reusable bags.  Grocery stores are allowed to provide a reusable bag at no charge under the provisions of the Executive Order and provide relief when possible to the consumer for the bag cost.  The Executive Order does not interfere with local bans or restrictions on the use of single use bags implemented prior to 2015. 

APR also encourages Governor Newsom to return to normal implementation of the law when the 60-day Executive Order expires to encourage the use of reusable plastic bags and other products. The collection of recyclable materials of all types must continue to ensure that feedstock is available for use in a wide range of products that are critical in fighting the spread of COVID-19, ranging from cleaning products to personal care products, including bleach-based sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial soap, paper towels and toilet paper, as well as other products containing postconsumer plastics. 

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The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) is The Voice of Plastics Recycling®. As the international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry, membership includes independent recycling companies of all sizes, processing numerous resins, as well as consumer product companies, equipment manufacturers, testing laboratories, organizations, and others committed to the success of plastics recycling. APR advocates the recycling of all plastics.  Visit www.PlasticsRecyling.org for more information.

Contact:
Steve Alexander
APR President & CEO
Steve@plasticsrecycling.org