Canadian Plastics

Joe Biden calls for plastic bag ban in U.S.

Biden’s statement, made at a campaign stop in Iowa on Jan. 3, drew a quick rebuke from the Plastics Industry Association.

January 8, 2020   Canadian Plastics

U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden has gone on the record saying that plastic bags should be phased out.

As reported by numerous U.S. media outlets, Biden was asked by a supporter at a campaign stop in Iowa on Jan. 3 for his opinion on a nationwide ban on plastic bags. The former Vice President said he “100 per cent” believes we should “not be allowing plastic, and what we should do is phasing [sic] it out.”

Biden is leading the 2020 Democratic field, according to RealClearPolitics.

California, Hawaii, and Oregon have passed bans on the disposable plastic bags, and former Democratic candidate Sen. Kamala Harris said the U.S. “need[s] to ban the plastic straws” in September 2019.

Biden’s statement drew a quick response from the Washington, D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association.

Tony Radoszewski

“The process of  ‘phasing them out’ when it comes to plastics, would be a disaster for our economy and our environment,” president and CEO Tony Radoszewski said in a Jan. 4 statement. “We’re disappointed that Biden would endorse the idea of a misguided reduction in the use of plastic materials, as bans and taxes aimed at accomplishing these tasks have only driven consumers to use more environmentally-harmful and resource-intensive products.”

Radoszewski’s response went on:

“Plastic bags exist for a number of very good reasons: they require less energy to manufacture, they consume 96 per cent less water than the production of paper bags, and they’re lighter to transport, which means they reduce carbon emissions.

In developing countries, the lack of waste management infrastructure leads many to see no other option than to ban a material that has far fewer environmental defects than its alternatives. The U.S. has the chance to be a leader in this area, by investing in new recycling technologies that can improve waste management systems at home and abroad – reducing litter and marine debris while creating jobs and helping grow the global economy.

We hope, throughout his campaign and if he is elected president, that Biden will first consider more effective solutions to our nation’s waste management problems – in particular by supporting legislation like the RECOVER Act – before resorting to knee-jerk bans on materials that actually deliver enormous benefits until they’re mismanaged at the alleged end of their usefulness.

This is a historic moment for the global economy and the environment, and the U.S. should take this chance to set an example by showing how every country can convert its waste into a valuable resource.”


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