According to an upcoming TV advertisement, a new California bill to ban plastic bags sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles) will put Californians out of jobs and line the pockets of the grocery industry.
The ad slams Padilla for putting “powerful special interests before working families.” Plastic bag manufacturers across the nation are adamantly opposed to the bill because it would eliminate 100 percent recyclable plastic bags and impose fees on paper and thicker plastic bags. Moreover, consumers will have to shell out at least ten cents for a paper bag or a sturdier, reusable plastic bag and merchants will get to keep all of the fee.
Significantly, opponents of the ban claim that SB 270 is nothing more than an example of crony capitalism. According to the Sacramento Bee, the ad campaign refers to the bill as “Padilla’s dirty deal” because grocers have paid millions in campaign contributions to state legislators and Padilla is “paying them back” with the bill. Steve Schmidt, who represents the public-relations firm Edelman, asserted, “What’s most cynical about this legislation is the massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to shareholders of the grocery industry association.”
Padilla and the supporters of the bill argue that SB 270 has a provision that allows companies to apply for a grant from a $2 million state recycling fund to reengineer their facilities and soften the blow of the new law. “I don’t agree, but I understand their economic interests,” Padilla said of the plastic bag manufacturers. “Just like Texas oil companies don’t like our air-quality environmental-protection laws in California, it’s no surprise that out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers are not fans of this legislation as well.”